I live in the Oakland, I use the Fruitvale BART Station regularly. On the Morning of Jan 1 2009, after I awoke, I search the internet news stories, I came upon a story about a shooting @ Fruitvale BART. As the day progressed, it was peculiar as information was slow to come out… A riders death was not reported until later that day. Initial reports made it seem that the Victim was responsible… Only until a news story broke on CBS 5 and what was later designated as the Vargas Tape emerged. I was infuriated on the secrecy and misinformation that became a Police Officer shooting an unarmed man. I believe those without that Videos we would not be awaiting a Verdict Today.
My thoughts on this are… Here is a man born out of affluence, hired to do a job that takes courage… In a moment of frustration, being in the position of power.., overcome by the human emotion of being disrespected, now with malice in his heart, decided to give this “kid’ a jolt of his taser, because he felt that Oscar Grant needed some “police street justice”. So knowing the “fine line” in his mind… he pulls out his “taser” and proceeds to give Oscar Grant a “jolt” of his power to mandate his compliance. Because Mehserle is incompetent 1) he draws his service revolver 2) Because of the malice in his heart, fires the weapon before he realizes it is gun. 3)Watch Mehserle’s and Pirone’s conduct after shooting Oscar Grant. Did Meheserle say he didn’t mean it when Oscar Grant stated, “You shot me”? Yes, an accident, maybe, that he used his gun… But their actions other than Arresting Mr Grant, are criminal in nature.
Had Johannes Mehserle performed his job correctly, this wouldn’t have happened. If he had better luck, the maximum penalty would have been a lawsuit for unreasonable force. But because he had no luck, he is on trial for Murder.
What should the Penalty Be:
Because Johannes Mehserle had malice in his heart, this was “personal”. To want to needlessly “taze” Oscar Grant, the act is magnified. Because of his bad luck, he killed a man. Even though he had no intentions of killing Oscar Grant, this is Murder 2, His actions with a taser is use of a deadly weapon with intent to harm. It went a little farther than he wanted. It does not excuse him for this act. I cannot accept the tears on the stand. He never apologized to the Victim’s family, or Oscar Grant as he laid Mortally wounded. Johannes Mehserle is a Coward, period. I am hopeful, that by the end of the week, he is also a convicted murderer.
This was not BART’s fault… The City of Oakland’s… Just 2 men who fooled everyone with the belif if they would protect the public. We didn’t know that we needed protection from them… I hold Anthony Pirone as responsible as Mehserle. They crossed the line… In the end there were no charges filed. Pirone and Mehserle… At the point they made it “personal”, is when they stopped being a Police Officer and became a criminal. This is the core of the distrust that permiates the passionate side of this event.
The remaining officers on the platform should be fired for not being the protector Oscar Grant needed on that platform. If any one of them would have done the right thing. It is their job. Courage…
On July 9, 2010 a Verdict was reached… Involuntary Manslaughter, with an enhancement that a gun was used.