Convicted transit policeman set free
I know Oakland California and it is one of the most dangerous cities in the nation. It is full of criminals living among a community of poor people without much hope of improvement. Celebrity Mayors have come and gone, and the place remains “dangerous Oakland.”
The police, including the transit police are on edge. They are outnumbered by vicious criminals living openly in the neighborhoods and riding the transit from Oakland to San Francisco passing through “good” and “bad” neighborhoods.
At night, it is especially precarious. All kinds of people use the transit to go out on the town and have a good time. Often, hoodlums gang together on trains and are aggressive in their behavior.
On one evening, the aggression erupted into a fight among gang members. That required police intervention. A transit cop panicked in the process. He pulled his gun instead of a Taser. He shot and killed an unarmed person.
"I shot a man," he said. "I killed a man. It should not have happened," said Johannes Mehserle. What is next for him now that he is an xcon?
“Former transit cop convicted in California subway shooting goes free
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 13, 2011 5:51 a.m. EDT
Los Angeles (CNN) -- A former transit police officer convicted last year in the shooting death of an unarmed man on an Oakland, California, train platform was freed from prison early Monday morning, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
"He was released at 12:01 a.m.," said spokesman Steve Whitmore.
Johannes Mehserle was sentenced to two years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter conviction, but California law gave him one day of good conduct credit for each of the 365 days he served behind bars, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry said in a court order he signed last week.
Mehserle has been behind bars since a Los Angeles jury found him guilty on July 8, 2010.
Mehserle, a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer when the shooting occurred, said at the trial that he intended to draw and fire his Taser rather than his gun when he fatally wounded 22-year-old Oscar Grant on New Year's Day 2009.
Violent protests erupted in Oakland last November when Perry sentenced Mehserle to just two years in prison, which meant he could be released after another seven months.
At least 150 people were arrested during the protests, which Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts described at the time as "tearing up the city."
Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson, had asked the judge to sentence Mehserle to the maximum 14 years in prison. She and four other family members who spoke at the sentencing hearing last year called him "a murderer."
The jury acquitted him of the more serious charges of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.
Although his defense attorney argued for probation, Mehserle told Perry before sentencing 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. It should not have happened."
A conviction for involuntary manslaughter can carry a sentence of four years, but the judge had the option of adding an "enhancement" that could have made the sentence 14 years because a firearm was used in commission of a crime.”
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