Johannes Mehserle Sentencing Causes Furore

November 6th, 2010 - 6:27 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
Johannes MehserleNov 6, (THAINDIAN NEWS) Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer who was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of Oscar Grant was sentenced to two years in prison. The sentencing saw huge protests by the people demanding justice for Oscar Grant and soon violence broke out on the streets of Oakland. The Oakland police department revealed that several windows were broken and there are reports of a police officer being hit by a car. As many as 50 arrests have been made already and the outrage is expected to continue over the next few days.

The protest started as a four hour peaceful demonstration took a more violent turn as the news of the sentencing spread. The Oakland police was seen lining the streets in riot gear before the sentencing began. Earlier in the afternoon, Oakland police chief Anthony Batt said in a statement that they were hoping that the situation would remain calm. He also said that there was uncertainty about what could happen as the verdict unfolded and they were waiting to see what happens once it gets dark.

Oakland residents were hoping for a minimum 14 year term for Johannes Mehserle. After the sentencing, several people gathered outside the court showed their disappointment at the verdict. Oscar Grant’s uncle spoke to the media and compared the Johannes Mehserle verdict to Michael Vick’s case. He also said that if a man got a 4 year sentence for killing a dog, then two years for the murder of his nephew is not enough. Another protester also echoes similar feeling after hearing the sentencing and said that it is unbelievable that Johannes Mehserle could take someone’s life and go to jail for a couple of month under the best possible circumstances. It is possible that Johannes Mehserle could be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence and then his time in prison could be down to just more than 7 months.

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