Jul 08, 2010

Mehserle Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter

As I predicted, an LA convicted former police officer Johannes Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Oscar Grant on a train platform on New Year's Day 2009.  Since Mehserle was charged with murder, I am sure that he and his attorneys are satisfied with the verdict.  Merserle will probably have to serve some time in jail, but with involuntary manslaughter probation instead of jail is a possibility. 

This is a case where the jury seems to have gotten it right.  Though the tragic shooting of a black victim by a white police officer understandably generated anger in Oakland, where the shooting took place, it's hard to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Merserle intended to kill Grant. At the same time Mehserle is justly responsible for firing a gun that he testified he thought was a Taser.  Police officers are trusted with deadly weapons, and they have to be accountable for mistakes such as the one that Mehserle made.

Good move to have the trial in LA rather than Oakland.  Now let's hope that all the communities stay peaceful and that there's no repeat of the iots that took place in Oakland following Grant's tragic death.