Cop in Oscar Grant Case Goes Free

It was a quiet conclusion to one of the most maddening, infuriating stories of law enforcement violence in recent years. But it said so much. The police officer who shot unarmed Oscar Grant in the back on the San Francisco public transportation system, killing him, walked out of prison over a year early this morning, slipping out unseen by protesters.

He was released for time already served and good conduct (remember, the California prison system is heinously overcrowded).

During the heated trial, at which Mehserle confessed to thinking the gun he used was his stun gun, not a loaded handgun, Devona Walker wrote on AlterNet's Speakeasy blog about the sentiment behind the many, many protests that rocked the Bay Area after the killing and during the trial:

So you want to know why folks in Oakland are pissed off? Let’s start with the details of this case. Oscar Grant was killed before dozens if not hundreds of witnesses, while face down on the ground, in handcuffs, for no reason. If this can happen with witnesses watching just imagine what can and likely does happen to black men in the dead of night with no one around. It was several weeks before the Alameda District Attorney decided to charge Mehserle in the case. In fact, by the time he was arrested he had fled California and was apprehended in Nevada. Does that look like the actions of an innocent man?


The protests continued right through this weekend, on the eve of Mehserle's release.

Watch a video from the AP below, via USA Today:

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at June 13, 2011, 3:59am

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