Officer Guilty of Manslaughter in Transit Killing

He escapes murder charges in volatile racial case
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 8, 2010 7:27 PM CDT
A family photo of victim Oscar Grant.   (Anonymous)
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(Newser) – A white former transit officer was convicted of involuntary manslaughter today in the shooting death of an unarmed black man on an Oakland train platform in a 2009 encounter that set off days of rioting in the city. Prosecutors had wanted Johannes Mehserle convicted of murdering 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who was shot as he lay face-down. The officer testified he thought he was wielding his Taser.

Mehserle was placed in handcuffs and taken away after the verdict. He turned to his family and mouthed, "I love you, guys." His parents wept when the verdict was read. Grant family attorney John Burris said the family was "extremely disappointed" with the verdict. On the east side of San Francisco Bay, police in riot gear were deployed on the streets of Oakland. Involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of two to four years, and the next hearing was set for Aug. 6.

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