A former police officer convicted of involuntary manslaughter for killing an unarmed man in Oakland, California, apologized to the public and described his memories of the moments after the shooting in a handwritten letter obtained by CNN.
In the letter, Johannes Mehserle said he was "truly sorry" for killing Oscar Grant.
"For now, and forever, I will live, breathe, sleep, and not sleep with the memory of Mr. Grant screaming 'you shot me' and me putting my hands on the bullet wound thinking the pressure would help while I kept telling him 'you'll be okay,'" Mehserle says in the letter. "I tried to tell myself that maybe this shot would not be so serious, but I recall how sick I felt when Mr. Grant stopped talking, closed his eyes and seemed to change his breathing."
Mehserle's letter was dated July 4, four days before a jury found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter for shooting 22-year-old Grant on an Oakland train platform on January 1, 2009.