In short, on New Year’s Day 2009, early in the morning on a BART platform in Oakland, Johannes Mehserle, a BART officer, shot Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old black man, in the back at point blank range. Grant was handcuffed, sitting still and being quiet. Mehserle thought two things: 1) Grant was a threat, possibly going to pull a gun and 2) that his gun was his taser. But, you see, there’s tons of video of this on the interwebs. You can see it for yourself. It’s distressing. It’s sad. It’s murder.
This summer, a jury found Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter. It felt and still feels like a terrible injustice to Oscar Grant, a total win for police brutality against young black men.
Today Mehserle was sentenced, finally but still sadly. He got TWO YEARS in state prison minus time served (292 days). So, basically, one year of jail time. The “gun enhancement” charge was thrown out. For now, what I can tell is that the judge doesn’t think the jury properly understood what the “gun enhancement” meant and, therefore, he chose to toss it and not count that enhancement toward the sentencing.
A former transit police officer convicted of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed man on an Oakland train station platform was sentenced by a Los Angeles judge Friday to two years in prison.
Johannes Mehserle, 28, contended that he mistakenly used his firearm instead of an electric Taser weapon when he shot Oscar J. Grant III in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2009. But prosecutors argued at his trial that Mehserle meant to reach for his handgun as he tried to handcuff an unresisting Grant, who was laying face-down on the platform floor. […]
Mehserle, whose manslaughter conviction included a gun enhancement that increased his possible sentence, faced up to 14 years in prison. The judge, who called it an “accidental shooting,” on Friday tossed out the gun enhancement.
For the record, Michael Vick got three years for dog fighting. What or who do we truly value in our society?