Former BART officer must stand trial for murder

How long does it take for a victim of police brutality to get justice? Well, it’s nine months and counting. I really hope the “justice” system gets it right this time. But history leads me to be pessimistic. Justice for Oscar Grant and all victims of police brutality!
Oakland Tribune

Posted: 09/10/2009 11:42:17 AM PDT

Updated: 09/10/2009 11:59:04 AM PDT
OAKLAND — Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle will stand trial on a murder charge, a judge ruled today, rejecting Mehserle’s arguments that a previous judge erred in his decision.”The magistrate struck an admirable balance between the preservation of defendant’s right to a fair and thorough hearing and the husbanding of scarce judicial resources,” wrote Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon. “No violation of defendant’s right to due process occurred.”


Mehserle, 27, is charged with murder in the killing of Oscar Grant III of Hayward as the 22-year-old lay prone on the Fruitvale BART station platform. The shooting occurred early New Year’s Day after more than half-a-dozen BART police officers stormed a Dublin-bound train after receiving a call of a fight on the train.

Mehserle’s attorney Michael Rains has argued that his client didn’t mean to shoot Grant with his gun. Instead, Rains has argued, Mehserle intended to use his Taser but pulled his gun by mistake because he was overwhelmed by the hectic situation on the BART platform.

Rains continued that argument in court and in motions seeking to throw out a ruling by Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay, who ruled that prosecutors presented enough evidence during a preliminary trial to hold Mehserle before a jury on a murder charge.

Rains argued that his client’s right to a fair trial were violated because Clay cut his defense short and refused to allow Rains to call several witnesses, including an expert to talk about training BART officers receive.

But Reardon ruled Thursday that Mehserle received a fair preliminary hearing and that Clay did nothing wrong in declaring that he believed Mehserle intended to shoot his gun or that there was ample evidence to hold a jury trial.


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