Protesters Feel Oscar Grant Was Denied Justice

November 6th, 2010 - 6:30 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
Oscar GrantNov 6, (THAINDIAN NEWS) Oakland erupted in violence yet again as the news of the sentencing of the former BART cop Johannes Mehserle spread. With protesters and relatives of the victim complaining that the sentence was too lenient, it looked like the racially charged case would take another violent turn on Friday evening. Though the authorities had prepared for another riot in the city, the protesters took to the streets after the sentencing news came in from Los Angeles. Widespread chaos caused damage to cars and shops across the city and the protesters were seen making obscene gestures at the police. Reports indicate that more than 50 people were arrested in the night.

The Johannes Mehserle-Oscar Grant case has been the center of media attention for more than a year now. Grainy video footage of the shooting incident showed that Johannes Mehserle had shot Oscar Grant while he was unarmed and lying face down at the platform. The jury found that the former BART cop had mistakenly taken out his gun instead of his firearm to subdue Oscar Grant who was trying to resist arrest. The video shows Johannes Mehserle with hands on his head after the shooting which also added to the evidence that he did it by mistake.

The Los Angeles County Superior Court found Johannes Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced him to two years in prison. Though involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of 4 years, the court took into account the time that the former cop had already served and thus gave him 292 days of credit. The judge said in the court that the evidence to indicate that the gun was used deliberately, was insufficient.

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