July 8th, 2010
06:36 PM ET

Former subway officer guilty of involuntary manslaughter

[Updated at 7:13 p.m.] Johannes Mehserle, a white former police officer accused of killing an unarmed black man in Oakland, California, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

The verdict was read in court minutes ago.

Read the full CNN.com report

[Posted at 6:36 p.m.] A verdict has been reached in the trial of a former police officer who is white and accused of killing an unarmed black man in Oakland, California, according to a superior court spokesman. The verdict will be read at 4 p.m. (7 p.m. ET).

Johannes Mehserle, who was a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer at the time of the shooting, is accused of shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant on a California train platform on January 1, 2009. Mehserle, who was on duty at the time, said at the trial that he intended to draw and fire his Taser rather than his gun, CNN affiliate KTVU reported.

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Filed under: California
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    Intended to draw his Taser? Two cops had the guy on the ground already!! Um.....WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • SGT Army national Guard

      The officer made a bad call. He is paying for it with his career and jail time.
      Ive needed 5-6 guys to take a guy down in combat in iraq. The tazer is just fine for someone trying to
      reach for a possible pistol. The officer was nervous and ruined two lives. But it does not affect you and
      your lack of life expeirence.

      July 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan T

      So, does that mean that if I'm asked for vehicle registration and accidentally grab a legally concealed weapon, point it and mistakingly pull the trigger killing someone, that I could lose my job and go to jail for a couple years? Gee, I guess I should learn how to recognize the feel of a gun shaped gun, that shoots like a gun and is heavy like a gun. Especially when It's so easy to mistake.

      July 9, 2010 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. califaslady


    July 8, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. califaslady


    July 8, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ashley

    I've been following this. I'm so glad the racist b*asterd was found guilty!

    July 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ Nelson

      Do you have any evidence that the killing was a racist act? Or are you making the conclusion that when someone of one race kills someone of another race, that race was the cause? Isn't THAT rather racist of you?

      July 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Smith in Oregon

    The rowdy man was executed while being held on the ground by police officers. If it weren't for the overwhelming condemnation by the entire Berkley and Oakland community who realizes that could have been THEM, this wasn't simply washed under the rug as another 'legal murder' as so many in the past and across America are listed as every year.

    July 8, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ Nelson

      Well, if you saw the video, the officer rather blatantly shoots someone who is already on the ground and being held by two of his fellow officers. It's plausible that he meant to use a taser. But that's an argument against a pistol grip "non-lethal" weapon. IMHO the taser should have a trigger guard which makes it impossible to be fired by the hand used to shoot a gun.

      July 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smith in Oregon

      Well Russ, I'm assuming you also saw the video. Two OTHER police officers were holding the man face down in the concrete, the third officer pulled his gun at near point blank range and shot him in the back. You don't Taser someone already face down in the concrete being held by two police officers, or did you miss that obvious point? Taser training specifically teaches the officer to never Taser a suspect that is being 'held' or 'handcuffed' to another officer or officers. You risk zapping everyone besides the suspect, hence that is not taught nor is it done.

      This rowdy man was held down by two police officers and executed by a third officer who drew his handgun and shot this man at point blank range. Involuntary? No Police Officer fires any weapon nor any device without aiming it first. ZERO chance of any mistaking a Taser device for this officers standard handgun. The officer aimed his handgun and shot this man in the back at point blank range. ANYONE aiming a handgun knows in fact that is a handgun and not a Taser device. ANYONE aiming a Taser device knows in fact that is a Taser device, PERIOD. Class Dismissed.

      This disgusting and disgraceful former police officer should be very happy I wasn't on the jury.

      July 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kristin Holmes

    Think if this were your son or daughter – what verdict would you want? Would you be happy about involuntary when your child was shot in the back, while face down on the ground??? Racism is still alive in America for those who dont know, or believe it to be gone.

    July 8, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wilson Boozer

    I expected Mehserle to walk. From past experience, no cop is ever charged, much less prosecuted when he murders a black man. Perhaps the jury was concerned about the reaction of the black community, so threw us a bone. Simply not enough.

    For those who state that the cop was not guilty of racism, it is not so much malice through racism as it is that black life has no value. It has always been thus, and will certainly remain so in the Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave.

    July 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smith in Oregon

      Indeed Wilson, if it were not for the overwhelming angry and utterly disgusted Berkley and Oakland community, this former Police Officer would have likely have gotten a medal and commendation for a 'legal murder' instead of a Prison Sentence. The disgraced officer aimed and fired his handgun into the back of the suspect being held face down in the concrete. Officers do not fire a Taser Device at a person being held by fellow police officers. Officers do not fire any Taser Device without aiming it. NO one aiming a standard issue police officer sidearm and not know what it is.

      Did this disgusting man 'AIM' his sidearm? YES, there were two police officers holding that man down on either side and he 'aimed' his pistol. Does the sights on his pistol remotely look anything like that on a Taser Device? NO, there is absolutely zero chances a officer looking down the site line of a service pistol would think that was a Taser Device.

      July 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pachinko

    Just what this fuss is all about?

    July 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Whatever...

    I feel badly this man was killed. But, if you are not happy with this country, please feel free to leave.

    July 9, 2010 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Wilson Boozer

      Do I understand you to say that if one is dissatisfied with accepting the murder of a black man by a cop, that one should leave the country? He wasn't “killed” (passive verb), Mehserle murdered (active verb) him!

      August 22, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mother nature

    This is a Global Disaster. Stop being cynical about the Iranians and take their help. They are experts in this subject whether or not the US government agrees. Let political ego not compromise the interest of the ordinary Americans and the humanity at large.

    By refusing or rather not even acknowledging the help offered by Iran, the crisis is not going to be resolved anyways. It’s only worsening by the hour. The relief well and dispersents and etc etc are all lies. Neither US government nor BP knows wat to do about the leak. Eventually Mr. Prseident may decide to nuke the well. But that's even worse than the leak. The Gulf coast and its ecology would change for the next 10000 yrs if nuked. If the oil spill reached the northern parts of the Atlantic, it could disrupt the flow of ocean currents thereby adding to the global warming effects viz. El Nino, hurricanes etc.
    If the well is nuked, it will destry all ocean life in the gulf of mexico. So, the only logical way out is to take foreign help from nations that have the necessary skill, be it the enemy, for the greater good of humanity.

    The help offer by Iran is so strictly censored by the government that not even the so-called free press/media is talking about it.

    For more information Visit http://www.presstv.ir

    July 9, 2010 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sauron & Soromon

    IRAN offering help to stop the oil leak. These guys have the real skills and expertise for this job.

    For more information Visit http://www.presstv.ir

    or simply search Google / Yahoo / Bing for more on this help offer from Iran.

    share this information with as many people as you may.

    Wake up Mr. President

    July 9, 2010 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. TexVet

    After watching the video on Yourtube, I don't think racism had anything to do with this shooting...I think this cop is really a totally incompetent moron that should never have been on the force. But I might add...all that yelling and screaming by the bystanders probably contributed to this guy doing what he did. I'm sure it made him nervous as hell.

    July 9, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ryan

    I'm really getting tired of people playing the race card on this case. The officer was not racist. Why just because hes white and suspect was black? If you're judging it based on that alone, you must have some racist in you. Oh and people saying well Oscar Grant wasnt resisting arrest. Just because you dont see fighting doesnt mean he wasnt. The officer couldnt see his hand and was trying to pull it from underneath the suspect. Hands kill officers and you're always supposed to keep them in view.After this tragic accident the aftermath was fueled by police haters and racists. He made a mistake caused by the craziness of people on that platform. Those thugs and hoodlum were fighting and not following commands and throwing items at the officers. Watch the new videos released.

    July 23, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |