The police were called on New Year’s Morning when a fight between up to 12 people broke out on BART. While trying to detain Oscar Grant, former officer Johannes Mehserle fatally shot and killed him. Today, former transit officer Johannes Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for killing Oscar Grant.
While it is true that Johannes Mehserle shot and killed Oscar Grant with his service weapon, there are conflicting reports as to what (if anything) Mehserle said before firing the fatal shot into the back of the face-down Grant. A friend of Grant claims that former officer Mehserle yelled “fuck this” before shooting Grant. On the other hand, defense attorney Michael Rains claims that Mehersle told a colleague, “Tony, Tony, Tony, I can’t get his hands. I’m going to taze him.” Although conflicting, the two stories demonstrate the accuracy of the verdict. Had there only been a claim that former officer Mehersle said “fuck that”, he would have been convicted of murder. Had it only been claimed that the former officer had said what his attorney alleges, Mehersle might have been acquitted of all charges.
Convicting Mehserle of murder and sending him to jail for more than twenty years would have not been justified because Mehserle alleges he made a mistake. Completely acquitting Mehserle of killing a man would not be fair to the justice system. In the end, I feel that a very fair verdict was handed down to former officer Mehserle for the reason that he was the person who pulled the trigger and killed an unarmed man. Nonetheless, it must be taken into account that had Grant not been resisting arrest, Mehserle would not have needed to be in the situation to allegedly try and taze him. Convicting Mehserle of murder and sending him to jail for more than twenty years would have not been justified because he allegedly made a mistake. Completely acquitting Mehserle would not be fair to the justice system.