This content may be disturbing.
The video showing the murder of Oscar Grant Jan 1,2009
Oscar Grant III was fatally shot by BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California, United States, in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009.Responding to reports of a fight on a crowded Bay Area Rapid Transit train returning from San Francisco, BART Police officers detained Grant and several other passengers on the platform at the Fruitvale BART Station. Officer Johannes Mehserle and another officer were restraining Grant, who was lying face down. Officer Mehserle stood and, according to his testimony, Mehserle said that Grant then exclaimed, “You shot me! Grant was unarmed; he was pronounced dead the next morning at Highland Hospital in Oakland.
The events were captured on multiple digital video and cell phone cameras. The footage was disseminated to media outlets and to various websites, where it was watched millions of times. The following days saw both peaceful and violent protests.
The shooting has been variously labeled an involuntary manslaughter and a summary execution. On January 30, 2010, Alameda County prosecutors charged Mehserle with murder for the shooting. He resigned his position and pleaded not guilty. The trial began on June 10, 2010. Michael Rains, Mehserle’s criminal defense attorney, argued that Mehserle mistakenly shot Grant with his pistol, intending to use his Taser when he saw Grant reaching for his waistband.Pretrial filings argue that his client did not commit first-degree murder and asked a Los Angeles judge to instruct the jury to limit its deliberations to either second-degree murder or acquittal.
On July 8, 2010, the jury returned its verdict: Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. Initial protests against the ruling were peacefully organized; looting, arson, destruction of property, and small riots broke out after dark. Nearly 80 people were eventually arrested.
On July 9, the U.S. Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation against Mehserle as the federal government can prosecute independently for the same act under the separate sovereigns exception to double jeopardy, though no charges have been filed to date
On November 5, 2010, Mehserle was sentenced to two years, minus time served. He served his time in the Los Angeles County Jail, occupying a private cell away from other prisoners. He was released on May 3, 2011. He only served 9 months in county jail.