|John Burris, attorney for the family|
Johannes Mehserle, the Ex-Oakland transit officer who shot and killed an unarmed Black man, was sentenced to two years in prison Friday. With time already served, he could be released in just over half that time.
The Skanner News Video
The sentencing drew a hushed "Oh my!" from the victim's grandmother and condemnations from supporters of the victim.
Oscar Grant was face down on the train platform, in the midst of being detained and handcuffed, when Mehserle drew his Glock .40 and pulled the trigger. The judge and jury believed Mehselre's claims that he thought he had drawn his lighter weight, plastic Taser.
The judge in case, Robert Perry, could have sentenced the former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer to 14 years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter conviction. He threw out a firearm enhancement, which meant that the maximum sentence Mehserle could have received was four years.
Police said they were prepared in case there was a replay of the rioting in Oakland that followed the shooting on New Year's Day 2009.
"This is on its face a very shocking outcome, but I must tell you I'm not surprised at all," family attorney John Burris said.
He acknowledged that a small step was taken by the justice system in sentencing Mehserle to two years, but he said that was insufficient. He said both he and Johnson noted that NFL star Michael Vick got a harsher sentence for running a dog-fighting ring.
"What you take from that is that Oscar Grant's life was not worth very much," Burris said.
-- From Staff and AP Wire Reports