November 6, 2010 by USA Post
Johannes Mehserle, Protesters angered by the sentence of two years for a former transit police officer convicted of manslaughter in the death of an unarmed man marched in Oakland, California, on Friday night.
Johannes Mehserle receive credit for time already spent in jail since he was charged in the shooting of 22-year-old, Oscar Grant on a platform January 1st 2009, a judge ruled Friday.
Mehserle could be released in about seven months under the sentencing guidelines provided by the prosecution.
Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, looked dazed as he left the courtroom. His family’s lawyer said he was shocked. Johnson had asked the judge to sentence him to up to 14 years in prison. She and four family members who spoke at the sentencing hearing Mehserle called “a murderer.”
“This is a slap in the face, punched in the stomach,” said John Burris, the attorney for the Grant family.
Prosecutors had sought a prison sentence, while the defense had argued for probation.
After the verdict of July, police in downtown Oakland arrested dozens of protesters angry at a variety of charges, including the lack of dispersion, resisting arrest, theft, vandalism and assault on a police officer. The city planned to extra agents on hand Friday in case they were needed, said police spokeswoman Holly J. Joshi.
About 250 people unhappy with the sentence rallied peacefully in the afternoon of Friday, said Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts.
Officers in the area have identified some people who were arrested in July. “We’re introducing them and let them know that we know are in the crowd,” said Batts.
Protesters took to the streets Friday night, at a time turned by the police before going another direction.
Mehserle told the Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry before sentencing on Friday that he would be willing to go to prison if the sentence made his city and family safer.
“I shot a man,” he said. “I killed a man. You should not have happened.”
Alex Alonso, a StreetGangs.com writer said appeared to mourn Mehserle times, reading his apology to the judge. Seemed to avoid looking at the family of Grant, said Alonso.
Mehserle wearing an orange prison suit, was chained by the chains around his waist, linked with his fists on the arms and legs, “said Alonso.
“I would like to take Oscar Grant, again,” said Mehserle.
A manslaughter conviction normally carries a sentence of four years, but the judge had the option of adding an “improvement” that could have made the sentence of 14 years because a firearm was used in the commission of a crime.
Mehserle, who was on duty as a police officer of Bay Area Rapid Transit, when the shooting occurred, told the court that he intended to draw and fire his Taser instead of his gun. The jury acquitted him of more serious charges of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.
members of the Grant family expressed outrage after the verdict in July.
“My son was murdered. He was murdered. He was murdered. My son was murdered,” said Johnson. She and others said that blacks are too long have been victims of police abuse and a partial legal system.
The trial had been transferred from Alameda County California Los Angeles because of pretrial publicity. The shooting was captured by the camera from a spectator’s mobile phone video. The video was widely distributed online and in news broadcasts, and spurred protests and riots around Oakland.
The shooting took place after the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police were called to the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland on January 1, 2009, when passengers complained of fights on a train. Officers took several men, including the subsidy off the train when it came to Fruitvale.
The video showed Mehserle pull his gun and shot Grant in the back while another officer knelt on the unarmed man. Mehserle resigned a few days after the incident and was later arrested in Nevada.
The former official apologized to the public and describe their memories of the moments after the shooting in a handwritten letter by CNN after the verdict.
“For now and forever, I live, breathe, sleep, and not sleeping with the memory of Mr. Grant shouting ‘that threw me and I get their hands on the bullet wound in the minds of the pressure while I help said “you will be fine, ‘” Mehserle wrote in the letter. “I tried to tell him that maybe this picture would not be so bad, but I remember how sick I felt when Mr. Grant left to speak, closed his eyes and seemed to change his breathing. “
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