Officer Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter in 2009 Killing of Oscar Grant

Friday, July 09, 2010

Wanda Johnson, the mother of Oscar J. Grant III, walks with supporters as they leave the Los Angeles Superior Court after the involuntary manslaughter verdict against former officer Johannes Mehserle. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty)

Last night, California jurors found Officer Johannes Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant. Mehserle, a white BART police officer, shot and killed Grant, an unarmed black train passenger, early in the morning on New Year's Day, 2009. The video of the shooting, caught on cellphone camera, instantly went viral on the internet and led to massive rioting in the city of Oakland. Though Oakland residents demanded to see a guilty verdict, many had hoped Mehserle would be convicted on stronger charges: either second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. John Burris, who represented Oscar Grant’s family, said relatives were “extraordinarily disappointed” by what he called a “true compromise verdict.”

We talk with Jack Leonard, a reporter with the Los Angeles Times who was in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. We also talk with freelance reporter Bob Butler, who has been following the controversy from Oakland.

Guests:

Bob Butler and Jack Leonard

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Hsi-Chang Lin

Comments [1]

Rick Evans from Taxachusetts

Hey John, combined with your less than objective instinct for hobby horse journalism your interview with this so-called "community journalist" was a sorry joke. "Police terrorism"? Come on. Your wimpy, halfhearted challenge to his use of that phrase was unprofessional.

I consider what this inept BART cop to be disgusting and possibly worse than involuntary manslaughter. However, we don't need you helping "community journalists" issue veiled threats via his predictions of future, wider violence.

Jul. 09 2010 06:48 AM

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