News


Mehserle found guilty of involuntary manslaughter

BART packed as people try to arrive home before verdict

Johannes Mehserle has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, it was announced in the Los Angeles Country Superior Court shortly after 4 p.m. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 6.

Fourteen firefighters from the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department and two Pleasanton police sergeants left for emergency duty at a staging area in San Leandro while the new fire chief, Jim Miguel, was being sworn in. Chief Miguel wished them well as they left.

In anticipation of the verdict, Pleasanton police are back to 12-hour shifts instead of 10, officials said.

BART officials were asking passengers -- especially those riding near the downtown San Francisco and downtown Oakland stations -- to be patient with service because the trains have been full since before 3 p.m. as a result of the Mehserle verdict.

"All of our trains are on time; however, they are very packed with passengers," BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.

Noah Klein was one of the passengers trying to get on a train at the 12th Street/Oakland City Center station.

Klein works in the Elihu M. Harris State Building in downtown Oakland, and was told to go home early after word came in that a verdict had been reached.

"It was a mob almost," he said. "It wasn't rushing or angry or trying to push, but everyone was trying to make their way down to a train."

"Everybody's pretty calm, just a little concerned," he said.

BART reported at 6 p.m. that the Alameda County Sheriff had requested that BART close the City Center entrances to 12th Street Station in Oakland.

BART Board President James Fang issued a statement this evening in response to the involuntary manslaughter conviction of former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle.

Fang said BART officials continue to deeply regret the shooting death of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III on the platform of the Fruitvale

station in Oakland early on New Year's Day 2009.

"A young man lost his life because of the actions of a former BART police officer. It is a heartbreaking fact that no one can change that sad day," he said.

Fang said "the tragedy has served as a catalyst to change the future of BART" and the agency's Police Department in particular.

He said that, along with hiring an independent firm to analyze the areas that need improvement in the department, the agency is also on the

verge of implementing independent oversight of the police force - the result of a new bill that still needs to be signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He said BART has accepted responsibility for the shooting. In a civil case, a federal judge helped mediate a $1.5 million settlement to

provide for Grant's 6-year-old daughter Tatiana.

Fang said he hopes the response to today's verdict won't hurt the Bay Area.

"Oakland -- indeed the whole Bay Area -- is one of the best places to live in the entire world," he said. "We must not let the initial emotional

reaction of the verdict have long-lasting negative effects on the place we call home."

Today was the jury's first full day of deliberations after they suspended talks yesterday because a juror had a doctor's appointment.

The approaching verdict in the trial of former BART police Officer Mehserle has had communities and businesses on edge for days. Mehserle, 28, was charged with murder for the shooting death of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Hayward man, on the platform of the Fruitvale station in Oakland shortly early on New Year's Day 2009.

In Oakland, some businesses have boarded up their windows, although recently most stores downtown appeared to be open for business as usual.

Bay Area police and community leaders including those in the Tri-Valley were also anxiously awaiting the verdict, hoping for calm when the jury's decision is announced.

In the Tri-Valley, local agencies were making sure they're prepared for any civil unrest following the announcement of the verdict. BART was providing guidance and information to its ridership in the event problems occur at any BART stations, including the Dublin/Pleasanton station. Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti also said that his city is prepared in the event of any local unrest.

"While it is not anticipated that civil unrest will occur in Dublin, the city's police and fire Services have planned and prepared for this possibility and are coordinating with public safety agencies throughout the Bay Area for mutual aid requests, should it be necessary," Sbranti said.

Police in Pleasanton were deciding their actions on a day-to-day basis. The department went to 12-hour shifts with no days off and sent officers home if the jury left for the day without a verdict, a spokesman said.

Pleasanton police are also ready to head to Oakland "as soon as the mutual aid button is pushed," said Lt. Mike Elerick.

He said the department went to 12-hour shifts last week in anticipation of a jury verdict in the trial and possible unrest that could lead to a call for aid from outlying law enforcement districts.

Two Subway sandwich shops in downtown Oakland illustrate businesses' different approaches. One, at 1312 Broadway isn't boarded up even though it's very close to the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway, where several groups have said they will hold rallies after the verdict is announced.

A Subway restaurant at 14th and Madison streets, six blocks away, is boarded up but remains open. It's on the ground-floor level of a condominium complex at that site.

At the intersection of 13th Street and Broadway, a T-Mobile cell phone store and a Burger King restaurant are both boarded up but open for business.

All of the businesses at City Center Plaza, bounded by Broadway and Clay Street and 12th and 14th streets, are open for business today including Starbucks and Quiznos; the only business that's boarded up there is a Patelco Credit Union branch bank.

Crews were setting up a bandstand in the middle of the plaza this morning for the Joe Bagale Soul band to perform at noon as part of Oakland's "Summer Sounds" series.

But on 17th Street between Franklin and Webster streets, which was hit by violence in protests in January 2009, a number of businesses are boarded up, including a Mexican restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, a smoothie shop and two coffee shops.

The People's Choice Printing shop at 1525 Webster St. has numerous small posters that state "Justice For Oscar Grant" and one large poster of Grant.

A light pole at the corner of 14th and Jackson streets has a small poster with a photo of Oscar Grant with the message "We Don't Forget," as well as a small poster with a photo of Mehserle that states "We Don't Forgive."

Pleasanton Weekly staff. Bay City News contributed to this report.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by SadTruth
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jul 7, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Nice to see that the government officials are thinking ahead on this matter. It is sad that there is good reason for the precautions. Violence in response to an unpopular verdict does not indicate a healthy subculture for those who respond this way. Please pray for God's wisdom for all involved.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 7, 2010 at 7:05 pm

The Animals are gearing up to riot no matter what the verdict is.


Like this comment
Posted by Pablo
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm

The New Black Panther.avi


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm

hold your horses...wait until the verdict is announced...duh


Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 8, 2010 at 8:30 am

prepare for the verdict and the inevitable unleashing of the scumbags that feed on the chaos that ensues when anarchists and Oakland's zoo animals have an opportunity to destroy other people's property. It's just an excuse for violence, just like after the rodney king verdict. No justification for those actions whatsoever, but it does
make for good TV, so the press will be all over it.

Heck, the ex-parolee Oscar Grant was not even from Oakland, yet their town will experience damage from hoods who take advantage of the situation. No one can defend this type of mindset or action.


Like this comment
Posted by Thumper
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Jul 8, 2010 at 8:42 am

Pull this garbage in another coountry and you get cracked heads. Do it here and they get coddled. Go figure.


Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2010 at 9:13 am

It's truly sad how some of you continue to refer to the deceased, Oscar Grant as the "ex-parolee".... as if this unarmed man, pinned down to the ground deserved to be shot in the back or something??? Or, let me guess, it's no surprise??? Its so sad how disconnected some people in this city truly are. I'm completely AGAINST rioting, and find it sad for the victims & their businesses, but frankly, some of these posts are just as ignorant as those people rioting.


Like this comment
Posted by der
a resident of Danville
on Jul 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Correction Steve,

"Oakland's zoo animals have an opportunity to destroy other people's property"

Your comment is way out of context, the Oakland zoo is a safe zoo. Why would you want to harm it's reputation? I am a season ticket holder at the zoo and I have never seen the zoo animals have a single negative interaction with a visitor.

Let's all think a minute before we speak/comment next time. "The silence is deafening"


Like this comment
Posted by Paulie
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Let's not treat Mr. Grant like he was someone innocent and just happened to be accosted by the BART Police. Grant is a 2 time convicted felon who had served time and was awaiting indictment or trial on a pending offence. The reason he was approached by BART police is that he had started a fight on a BART train. That said he did not deserve to die but he was not an innocent bystander who got killed.


Like this comment
Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm


THE VERDICT IS IN. Thursday, 3:30pm. The judge is reviewing it and will read it before 4:30.

Can't we all just get along??

unclehomerr..


Like this comment
Posted by Paulie
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Well I guess I better go make sure all my stuff is loaded and ready to go.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Involuntary manslaughter. Hopefully he will only get probation. This was a tragic mistake. This was a BART training issue. Get ready for the Civil trial but first let the rioting begin.


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Whatever the court decides, I will respect the rule of law.


Like this comment
Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Imagine going to work, making a mistake (a very tragic one nonetheless), and going to prison for it.


Like this comment
Posted by Paulie
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 8, 2010 at 4:49 pm

What a hoot! He will get a maximum of 2 years if he gets any time at all. Didn't Michael Vick get 2 years in Leavenworth for killing a couple of dogs. They should have got PETA involved.


Like this comment
Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Anyone watching the Grant family on TV. I can feel for them for losing a family member, but I feel they are trying to incite these riots.


Like this comment
Posted by Ghetto Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Pro-Law -

Ya think the Grant family is trying to incite riots, you bet they are, it's so sad that they think it is okay to trash their very own city because they aren't happy with the verdict who does that!!!???


Like this comment
Posted by Interesting
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm

75% of the people who were arrested at the Mehserle riots last year were not from Oakland. Think before you judge the people of that city.


Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 8, 2010 at 10:18 pm

sorry, der. I did not mean to impune th ezoo or it's inhabitants when comparing many of Oakland's thugs with zoo animals. The reference could have been interpreted as an insult to the animals in the zoo.


Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm

interesting-so the other 25% were Oakland residents trashing their own city becauase of some unlucky felon from Hayward? How's that logic work, I aks you?
Good to see you're standing up for those virtuous folk in Oaktown.
I just saw the rioting on the news...looks like a Raiders game broke out in downtown....only more violent.


Like this comment
Posted by pro police
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2010 at 8:51 am

The DA's office should be ashamed of its self for ever filing these charges. This was never a murder case no matter how you looked at it. Tom Orloff made the mistake of charging it under what I assume was extreme political pressure, he then retired and got out of town before the trial started. I hear that there are many bad feelings between the local police agencies and the DA's office. The police now have to not only fight the scumbags on the streets but they have to be watching their backs so the DA will not put a knife into it. Maybe Grant shouldn't have died for what he did, but he was as much at fault as Mehserle was.
In the end, one dead dirt bag, one good cop's life ruined for trying to protect the public


Like this comment
Posted by agreeable
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 9, 2010 at 9:35 am

I completely agree with "Pro Police". THis should NEVER have been a question of murder! How insane was THAT to begin with!?

and a hearty Amen to: "Maybe Grant shouldn't have died for what he did, but he was as much at fault(more-so. He was a convicted felon) as Mehserle was.
In the end, one dead dirt bag, one good cop's life (and his wife and childs) ruined for trying to protect the public."


Like this comment
Posted by wondering
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 9, 2010 at 9:39 am

I wonder how anyone can send words of SUPPORT to Mr. Mehserle?

Funny, how people will call a felon "Mr. Grant", and the honorable police officer by the more disrespctable last-name-only "Mehserle".

MR. Grant was no more a "Mister", than Lady Gaga is a "Lady".


Like this comment
Posted by Jan
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jul 9, 2010 at 10:10 am

makes you wonder why anyone would ever want to be a police officer. With cameras on every cell phone, if as a police officer, you ever make a slight mistake or it is PERCEIVED that you do, your face, your family and your life are on the line.


Like this comment
Posted by Papa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2010 at 10:47 am

As usual, Oakland has acted (DOWN to) expectations, or at least the expectations of the hype-media! Grant's death was an unfortunate accident, and everyone feels for the family. EXCEPT when the family does their best to incite riots and mayhem, and now have nothing but Dollar Signs in their line of vision. My congrats to the Police, who acted with perhaps too much restraint, but contained the violence, at least. Grant's family, their so-called attorneys, and all the rabble-rousing elements from "who knows where", have done more HARM to the image of the City of Oakland than all the good of the last twenty years. And, it may never be undone, at least not until they get some civic LEADERSHIP. Some things never change, I guess.........


Like this comment
Posted by can't believe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2010 at 10:47 am

wondering: well said. words have meaning. Media uses them to their advantage.


Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2010 at 11:01 am

Hey Paulie from Del Prado and a few others...you are right...he will get prison time for Killing one dog and Vick got 2 years for Killing 2 dogs and OJ went golfing the next day for Killing 2 beautiful people...What a hoot, how quick we forget. And guess what, no riots and no looting after the OJ dog walked. I was born and raised in Oakland from 1940 to 1960, that was before the dogs arrived. Now I wouldn't give you five cents for the whole darn thing.
Thanks for Listening, Julia from Alamo


Like this comment
Posted by Amazing
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Amazes me how everything has to be related to the color of the skin someone has. It is preposterous. Stop trying to use the color of skin as justification for everything bad that happens to you. Oscar Grant got shot not because he was black but because an officer responded to a call about a fight and made a mistake that cost a human life. This officer should be going to jail because he still killed someone but not for murder two.


Like this comment
Posted by Debbie
a resident of Las Positas
on Jul 9, 2010 at 4:38 pm

You know, it amazes me that the people of Oakland get so upset at what happened to Oscar Grant but they don't have a problem when a drive by in their city kills a two year old. They kill each other every day but when a police officer does it, they riot. What they should be upset about is the violence in their streets and the young men who are being gunned down. Remember the four officers killed. I didn't see any rioting over that.


Like this comment
Posted by agreeable
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm

OHHHHH! SUCH a GOOD point, Debbie!!! "Remember the four officers killed. I didn't see any rioting over that."


Like this comment
Posted by bitsy
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm

so many good comments Right on about the 4 Officers killed last year by some "louse" we don't riot we write editorials etc. I must say Chief Batts did an excellent job of coordinating his Officers. I'm wondering if footlocker had mismatched shoes in those boxes (just a thought) there were sure a lot of single shoes strewn around. It won't be soon enough for Dellums to go- he tends to incite also--I too was born and raised there in the same time frame and I don't think it will ever get better no matter how many programs they have for young people especially It starts at home just like Bill Cosby says----when hatred and indiffence is generational how can it change??????


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 9, 2010 at 9:26 pm

lots lots lots lots white kids were arrested...hmmmmmmmmmmm...


Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Too many of the comments here infer that the people inciting the riots are/were African American. The fact of the matter is many of these people are white and not even from Oakland. The majority of those arrested were in fact, white. I have worked in Oakland for over 30 years. Everytime there is a strike, protest, demonstration, there are people...often the same groups of individuals , who show up with their own agendas. Calling the people of Oakland "animals" or referring to Oakland as a zoo only serves to prove that racism is in fact alive and well here in Pleasanton.


Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2010 at 10:18 pm

You people who say no one was protesting, or upset over what happened to our four OPD Officers, or the two year old who was shot, are very out of touch. You do not know what you are talking about. Are YOU on the streets of Oakland? Do you often talk to people from Oakland?If in fact you did, you would not be saying the ignorant, hateful things you say.


Like this comment
Posted by MIke
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 9, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Jan asked why anyone would want to become a police officer. It was a calling for me. Ever since I was a little boy I wanted to become a police officer. My whole life all I've ever wanted to do it help people who were in distress. If you're smart, consistently train, and are able to keep your senses about you during stressfull calls, you'll do good.

If you can't slow things down and panick you'll screw up.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I believe as the jurors did that this was accidental.

I also believe that while Grant's behavior was not a Capital offense, he was a long-term bad apple whose behavior that night contributed much to how things turned out for him.

That being said, I also want my police officers to be capable of remaining cool, calm and collected even and especially under extreme duress. Because we give our police guns and the power of arrest, we also require that they be capable of maintaining a clear view of the situation and knowing what they have in their hands.

This isn't about Grant being a bad egg. It's about our police officers being at the top of their game at all times, about their being trained and ready specifically for these situations.


Like this comment
Posted by Debbie
a resident of Las Positas
on Jul 10, 2010 at 5:11 pm

To Lisa, No. I am not on the streets of Oakland and I will never be. I am not out of touch. The facts speak for themselves. I did not say anything hateful. I stated a true fact. How many drive by's happened in the city of Oakland this past year, where an innocent bystander was shot or killed? For the good people of Oakland, I say, it's time to get out of Dodge!


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm

give it a rest dettie...racist!

fyi: i seen a mess of white kids being arrested...i rest my case...


Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Hey folks Cholo is correct...most of the problems were caused by young white pro hell raisers.

The entire situation is screwed up...The Grant family will be paid mega bucks for the loss of their (Comment deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)son. Check his RAP sheet, (Comment deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)...take a lesson all you wild dogs in Oakland...step out of line and you just may end up like Grant.

Julia


Like this comment
Posted by Debbie
a resident of Las Positas
on Jul 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Cholo, I'm racist? You don't even know me. Why don't you go live in Oakland. I wonder if Mr. Grant's mother would be still saying, " my son was murdered ", if the officer was black. Did you even hear the families lawyer after the verdict? Who are really the racist here?


Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Debbie,
You are hateful.
You consistently have to refer to race.
You state your opinion..not fact when you speak of how others feel. Hypothetical situations are not fact.
Your choice of pronouns speak volumes,"they" "their".
I for one am glad to hear you will never be on the streets in Oakland.
The good people of Oakland do not need you haters. An isolated incident like this causes ignorant people ,like yourself, to make gross , racist generalizations of an entire community. We all know what race of people you are referring to when you say negative things about Oakland.
Please do stay out of Oakland. Stay in Pleasanton. And when people of color begin moving in around you, freak out and move farther away. Because "THEY' are coming.


Like this comment
Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 12, 2010 at 10:25 am

I'm glad a few folks here picked up on the fact that the vast majority of the arrests & those contributing to the violence downtown were in fact the "rent-a-mob" extremist anarchists that always manage to crawl out from whatever slimy rock they've been hiding under to take advantage of a crowd/mob situation & abuse it for their own needs.

The people of Oaktown should be commended for trying their best to keep cool & peaceful, the police should know by now who the real criminals are use a little profiling & weed these scum out.


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm

hmmmmmmmmmm...there seems to be a few copy cat Cholo's...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

I respect the rule of law. this case is sad any way you look at it...

my recommendation: take the high to an ice-cream parlor!!!


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Apr 26, 2017 at 7:36 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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