Former BART Officer Johannes Mehserlewas Released From Prison
A former San Francisco Bay area transit officer convicted in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant on an Oakland train station platform was released from jail early Monday after serving just 11 months of a two-year sentence.
A judge ruled Friday that Johannes Mehserle should be released for time served and good conduct.
Mehserle was released from a Los Angeles County jail at 12:01 a.m. on Monday.
Mehserle’s attorney Michael Rains told KTVU-TV in Oakland that precautions were taken due to safety concerns in releasing his client from jail.
Rains spoke on the possibility of Mehserle returning home saying, “Well, we don’t know. We’ll know more about that in the next 10 days to two weeks. We hope he will be able to go home because he has always called Northern California home and he really doesn’t want to call any place else home.
“But if he can’t go home, he’s going to call another place home and he will go there with his family and he will live a productive life.”
Mehserle was convicted last July of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Oscar Grant on a Bay Area Rapid Transit train station platform in Oakland on New Year’s Day 2009.
According to news report, a small crowd gathered outside of the Los Angeles court where Mehserle was convicted to protest.
About 25 protesters gathered Monday at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse where Mehserle was tried. They walked to a nearby U.S. District Court building to demand that federal charges be brought against the former officer.
“We are here because there has been an injustice,” protester Julia Wallace said.
A few federal police officers watched the protest, which remained peaceful.
On Sunday, about 300 protesters held a fairly peaceful demonstration in downtown Oakland as they vented their continued frustration over the shooting and Mehserle’s release.
“The people know it was wrong,” said Jabari Shaw, 32, a protester who had also attended Mehserle’s trial. “As much as we want justice, we’re still not getting it.
The injustice in this story is a reminder of not only the injustice in the Oscar Grant murder, but of injustice in the United States judicial system.