Federal prosecutors have decided to step in to investigate the shooting death of Oscar Grant by a white police officer on an Oakland transit train platform.
Federal officials say that the case will be reviewed by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to determine whether the case warrants federal prosecution for the murder of the unarmed man.
As previously reported, former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted Thursday July 8 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 22-year-old Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day in 2009.
The shooting occurred after Grant was apprehended by Mehserle and colleagues for resisting arrests. According to reports and video surveillance, Grant was subdued when the ex-officer shot him in the back which subsequently led to his death which from the video looks like cold blooded murder.
Mehserle claimed he was reaching for his taser.
The verdict set off violent protests in Oakland, where the case has enflamed racial tensions.
Prosecutors had sought a second-degree murder conviction.
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