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Ex-officer in BART shooting pleads not guilty

Tippa Naphtali | 17.01.2009 12:35 | Anti-racism | Repression | Social Struggles | Birmingham | World

The former BART police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man early New Year’s Day pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge during a brief but tense court hearing, at which his attorney said he planned to seek a bail reduction that could allow his client to be released from jail before trial.

Victim: Oscar Grant
Victim: Oscar Grant

Johannes Mehserle, 27, entered his plea in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland as about two dozen supporters looked on, including his parents, Todd and Agatha Mehserle. The couple were escorted to court by police officers a day after their Napa neighborhood was evacuated when two suspicious boxes were left on the porch of their home. The boxes turned out to be harmless.

Separated on the other side of the gallery were about 25 relatives and friends of Oscar Grant, 22, the man Mehserle shot on an Oakland BART platform. Some, including Sophina Mesa, the mother of Grant’s 4-year-old daughter, wore black T-shirts bearing Grant’s picture and the words, “Gone but not forgotten.”

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10th January 2008
Alameda County prosecutors filed charges Friday against three people arrested during Wednesday night’s chaotic protests in downtown Oakland over the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a BART police officer.

Ex-officer pleads not guilty in BART shooting
unknown date
A former police officer for the Bay Area transit system pleaded not guilty Thursday in the New Year’s Day shooting of a passenger at an Oakland rail station.

Hundreds gather on Oakland streets to protest BART shooting
7th January 2008
Mayor Ron Dellums stood before a fuming crowd on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday night trying to restore calm after angry protesters rampaged through the streets of downtown Oakland, creating a surreal near-riot that lasted several hours.

Tippa Naphtali
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