originally by: San Francisco Examiner
published: 9 May 2012
Johannes Mehserle, the disgraced BART police officer who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed Oscar Grant III in Oakland on New Year’s Day in 2009, is appealing the involuntary manslaughter conviction so that he might one day carry a gun and badge again.
Attorney Dylan Schaffer argued at a 45-minute hearing at the state 1st District Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday that while Mehserle made a “tragic and horrible error,” he didn’t act with the level of recklessness that legally defines involuntary manslaughter.
“All he did is make an error,” Schaffer told a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal. “Police officers are fallible. We cannot put them at risk of prosecution for just making policing errors.”