Johannes Mehserle Sentencing: BART Officer Who Shot Oscar Grant
Johannes Mehserle Was Sentenced to Two Years in Prison For the Fatal Shooting of Oscar Grant in 2009
Former BART transit officer Johannes Mehserle shot Oscar Grant on New Year's Day 2009, but he always maintained that he meant to reach for his taser and not his handgun when he shot the man who was unresisting arrest.
- Johannes Mehserle's Letter of Apology
- Johannes Mehserle Found Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter
- Why Involuntary Manslaughter and Not Murder?
- Oakland Riots: The Mehserle Verdict Aftermath
When he was sentenced to only two years, family members and Oscar Grant supporters said justice had not been done today and expressed their desire to see Mehserle spend more time in prison.
After the sentencing was announced, Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson, emerged from the courtroom muttering, "Nothing, he got nothing!" The family declined to talk to reporters.
About 50 Grant supporters lined up in front of the courthouse chanting, "Mehserle is guilty, guilty. The whole damn system is guilty, guilty."
The family has stated they do not want any violent protests over this decision.
In downtown Oakland, where a memorial was being set up for his grandson, Oscar Grant Sr., 65, said, “It’s a bad decision. No time can bring [Oscar] back. But [Mehserle] should have served some time. Otherwise, they’re telling the public, though he went to trial, a policeman can shoot someone and go free. These guys have a license to kill.”
Mehserle faced up to 14 years in prison, but the Judge declared the incident an 'accidental shooting' and now he will serve two years.
It was the early hours of January 1 2009 when Grant and a few other passengers were detained on the platform at Fruitvale Station in Oakland. Johannes Mehserle was one of the responding officers who said that Grant was resisting arrest and he drew his gun and shot Grant in the back. Another officer was kneeling on Grant at the time. It turned out that Grant was not armed and he died in hospital the next day.
The incident was captured on cell phone cameras and video cameras and sparked outrage amongst communities that felt Grant was murdered by Mehserle.