originally by: SF Appeal Online
published: October 2010
Oakland community members are speaking out today against a motion by the defense team for former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle seeking a retrial for Mehserle in the 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant.
Mehserle’s defense attorney Michael Rains submitted a motion to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry on Friday arguing that the jury, which convicted Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter, did not have a legal basis for a conviction and that new evidence is grounds for a retrial.
“We feel that Rains is grasping at straws,” said Cat Brooks, co-founder of ONYX, an organization that focuses on police conduct and the rights of African Americans in Oakland.
Mehserle and his attorneys maintain that the shooting was accidental, and that Mehserle had meant to use his Taser when he shot and killed Grant.
“The district attorney at our trial argued that even though there had been some prior cases of officers mistakenly shooting guns instead of Tasers, not a single one was identical to this case,” Rains said Monday.