Former officer in Oscar Grant death convicted with involuntary manslaughter

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Prinnctopher's Belt, Jul 9, 2010.

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  1. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    How the hell is this involuntary? Something is better than nothing, I guess... :dry: Certainly unreasonable to have argued for a murder conviction in the first place, but I thought this was a clear example of voluntary manslaughter, not involuntary at all.

    A white police officer who shot dead a black man in a controversial case in Oakland, California, has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

    The family of Oscar Grant, the victim, expressed their disappointment with the outcome. They had been hoping for a murder verdict.

    Grant, 22, was shot in the back by policeman Johannes Mehserle, 28, while lying on the platform in a railway station on 1 January 2009. Mehserle claimed he had thought he had his Taser in his hand rather than his gun.

    The shooting, which was shown on YouTube, led to a riot in Oakland, and there were fears of further trouble if Mehserle had been found not guilty. Police were yesterday deployed in riot gear in case of any outbreaks of violence.

    The case has become a cause celebre in the US, with its echoes of the treatment of Rodney King, a black man whose severe beating by police in LA in 1991 was captured on video. The subsequent acquittals of four LAPD officers sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

    The verdict means the jury thought Mehserle had been criminally negligent but had not intended to kill Grant.

    Mehserle, who is to be sentenced next month, could face anything from five to 14 years in jail.

    John Burris, a lawyer representing the family, described it as a "compromise verdict".

    "The system is rarely fair when a police officer shoots an African-American male," Burris said. "No true justice has been given."

    The trial was held in Los Angeles because of the tension in the Oakland and neighbouring San Francisco over the shooting.
  2. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    I usually do not take the side of the police, but to think that a member of any law enforcement unit would take a gun out, stick it right in the middle of the guys back while on the ground and shoot, in front of dozens of witnesses who were taking pictures via Iphones etc...,just doesn't make any sense. I believe in this instance that there was a legitimate mistake made. That's just my take based on what i've seen, heard and read about the case.
  3. cult logic

    cult logic Staff Alumni

    I never get why it ALWAYS has to be a race thing with cases like that.

    Just because an idiot cop shot someone for no good reason doesn't mean it was racially motivated.

    At any rate, if he really did shoot him in the back while the guy was down that's not involuntary.
  4. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Intent to kill is hard to prove at the best of times. In a heated situation it's entirely possible and reasonable to believe that one gun-feeling thing is confused with another. Involuntary manslaughter is no pardon, either.
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