Rioting in the Streets in Oakland After Cop BART Shooting Verdict
July 9, 2010
(ChattahBox)—An estimated 800 rioters took to the streets of Oakland, California last night, after the verdict came in for a former white Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer accused of shooting an unarmed black man in the back, while he was being restrained by another officer. As store fronts were smashed in, riot police responded with tear gas and made dozens of arrests. The all-white jury decided that Johannes Mehserle was only guilty of involuntary manslaughter, apparently believing his story that he mistakenly pulled out his gun and fired it, instead of his taser.
A cell phone video of the deadly shooting of Oscar Grant, 22, on January 1, 2009, became widely circulated on the Internet. Mehserle resigned days later and was arrested in Nevada for Grant’s murder.
Black residents, already enraged over the shooting, believe Mehserle should have received a sterner punishment.
According to CNN’s report, Mehserle’s sentence could be increased by the judge, because a gun was fired.
“Sentencing is set for August 6. Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison under California law. But the judge could add an “enhancement” that could provide a longer sentence because a firearm was used.”
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/JacobRuff/Demonstrators carry mock casket for Oscar Grant, January 14, 2009.