Jun
14

Johannes Mehserle’s Release After 12 Months Highlights Lack of Justice

By rnickens

oscargrantLos Angeles, CA - June 14th, 2011
Contact: Milton Davis, JRC Program Director
Email: Milton@jordanrustin.org
Mobile: 323-273-0347

For Immediate Release
1:30 PM June 14th, 2011

LOS ANGELES- Johannes Mehserle, the Oakland BART officer found guilty of involuntarily manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant, was released from the Los Angeles Jail yesterday morning. Johannes was sentenced to 2 years in jail for involuntary manslaughter for shooting the unarmed Grant; jurors determined that while his actions were not purposeful, they were so negligent that it could be considered criminal. Although it has been widely known that with good behavior and time served Mehserle’s two year sentence would likely mean serving one year and a June release, being released after 12 months is a harsh reminder of the fact that justice was not served in this case.

“Oscar Grant leaves behind a family and community that is just now beginning to cope with what Oscar’s death-and the circumstances of that death-truly means” stated JRC Program Director Milton Davis. “It speaks to the ineffectiveness of this justice process that before the wounds have had time to begin healing in this community, Mr. Mehserle is walking free once again”.

About 25 protesters stood outside the Los Angeles Jail in response to Mehserle’s release, although he was able to elude media and protesters during his 12:01 A.M. release. What is yet to be seen is whether or not Mehserle will return home to the Bay Area, and whether his presence there will re-incite the racial tensions that overwhelmed the area during the trial.

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The Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition (www.jordanrustin.org) exists to empower same-gender loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and families in the Greater Los Angeles area, to promote equal marriage rights and to advocate for fair treatment of everyone without regard to race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

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