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Police officer convicted in California subway shooting

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posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 10:24 PM
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A former police officer for a California subway system has been found guilty of shooting dead an unarmed passenger last year.


I always wondered if anything would come of this case...now i see justice has prevailed for once!

Johannes Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

He shot Oscar Grant in the back in Oakland, California, on 1 January 2009, while attempting to subdue him following a fight.

Mehserle told the Los Angeles court that he had mistaken the pistol for an electric Taser weapon on his belt.

The incident, recorded by onlookers on their mobile phones, sparked a period of violence in Oakland, a city on San Francisco Bay.

The trial was moved to Los Angeles because of the tensions in Oakland.

Speaking after the jury's finding, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called on state residents "to remain calm in light of the verdict and not to resort to violence".

Mehserle, 28, faces years in prison. He will be sentenced next month.

He resigned from the 200-member Bay Area Rapid Transit (Bart) police force soon after the shooting.

The Bart system serves cities in the San Francisco Bay area.

news.bbc.co.uk...




posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 10:35 PM
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well that ought to curb the rioting for a spell
since justice was served.
or maybe I'm wrong



posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by boondock-saint
 


i hear ya..

i was thinking that maybe..just maybe..Tasers and REAL guns should not have the same feel when reaching for them..

can anyone who is familiar with both weapons enlighten us here at ATS?



posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 10:45 PM
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reply to post by baddmove
 


I believe justice was served in this case. I understand heat of the moment sort of stuff, but as I recall. at least one other agent of BART had this guy down on the ground. Maybe it was two, other than the guy who accidentally pulled out his gun instead of his taser and killed the guy. The man was not really a threat anymore, other than a BART cop might get his pants dirty.

I don't believe the BART agent meant to kill the man, but............he did. And this death sentence was not warranted. IMHO, of course........



posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 10:57 PM
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I think that the involuntary manslaughter conviction is going to have a sentance that is a bit light. Personally I think that he should have been found guilty of vountary manslaughter seeing that he obviously shot the man knowing he was unarmed and knowing that he was using his gun. A trained officer knows the difference between his firearm and his less than lethal weapon. He is facing 1-4 years for taking an unarmed mans life. Officer or not that is unacceptable and he needs to face the full extent of the law on this one. I would call it second degree murder but I'm giving the man some benifit of the doubt. I have been abused by officers in the past myself and know firsthand the way that they get power happy at times. If anyone is interested I'll tell the story, it's pretty unbelievable. Anyway, this man deserves no less than 10 years in prison.



posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 11:00 PM
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Originally posted by baddmove
reply to post by boondock-saint
 


i hear ya..

i was thinking that maybe..just maybe..Tasers and REAL guns should not have the same feel when reaching for them..

can anyone who is familiar with both weapons enlighten us here at ATS?


They do not necessarily have the same feel. It is not "feel" that is in play at moments such as this. With adrenaline pumping due to the tussle "higher level thinking skills" are impaired and training takes over. The brain says "draw" and the muscle memory of the "draw" is right to that holster that has that lethal firearm in it.

My son's department has never allowed their officers to have taser because of this issue. An issue not unheard of prior to this incident.

I do not know the amount of training the Transit Police receive but I would hazard a WAG and say it's not enough to allow muscle memory to reach for a taser over a firearm during a time when it's the human limbic system in control and the frontal lobes have been relegated to trying scream over the onslaught of neurotransmitters acting as the primitive puppet master that allowed our ancient ancestors to survive in a very dangerous world.

Yadda...yadda...yadda: So it's not that they "feel" similar, or whether they don't. It's training. And that isn't the Transit Officer's fault. I wonder if he even has a clue that he is as much a victim of our primitive mammalian brain as his victim was of him.

[edit on 8/7/10 by Geeky_Bubbe]

[edit on 8/7/10 by Geeky_Bubbe]



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 01:41 AM
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Looks like things have settled down. Oakland was a mess. At least the city survived and didnt burn to the ground.

I have watched several videos from different angles from that night. I can see the arguement that he acted on instinct, but there is something that gets me about the whole thing.

If he has drawn his taser and fired, wouldnt he have shocked the crap outta his partners who were holding him down? No matter how you slice this incident, taser or pistol, this guy made a huge rookie mistake by letting his adrenaline get the best of his ability for rational thought. He was basically an idiot then. He screwed up and now he is a convicted idiot.

There is going to be a lot more to this though. Next is sentencing, then the family is going after a federal civil suit. This is going to drag out for a while more to come.



posted on Jul, 9 2010 @ 02:08 AM
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Wow, just wow. This was one big mess. I remember this one very well. Truth be told hearing the verdict is bittersweet for me.

An unarmed man was killed, and that is heart breaking. This guy claims that he thought he was using his tazer... I don't really buy that I admit.

The death penalty, as some were pushing for was way too much. Voluntary manslaughter I think would have been a more appropriate charge I think.

While I am not among the ranks of the many cop haters here, I can't help but shake the feeling that the only reason ANY justice was served was because there were so many witnesses and even a video of the event... So really not much else could be done.

I can't help but wonder how the case would have gone if the only witness was another police officer.


Oh well. I guess that is irrelevant anyway, since that is not what happened. I just hope this man is sorry for what he did. I hope the family of the dead man can find it in there hearts to forgive this man one day and I hope there is never another incident in which a cop has to reach for any kind of weapon, though hoping for that last one is like hoping against hope.



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