Here's a couple of facts that make the verdict unfair to the memory of Oscar Grant and his family. The very same court issued out 10 years to a woman for involuntary manslaughter. She was a Black woman that killed a Black man. So maybe when it happens that way you get a longer sentence?
Also, Torrence (which is in L.A) awarded 5 year Felony probation for Commercial Burglary (sliding credit cards) with a prison suspension sentence of 2 years to 3 and 1/2 years. So apparently Oscar Grants life was worth no more than a stolen credit card.
Because Johannes Mehserle was a TRAINED officer, he should have been more answerable to this horrible crime. Accident or not, because of the training he received (from millions of yours and my tax dollars that went into law enforcement programs) he had more than enough training to hold him even more responsible than someone without extensive training. The leniency of this sentencing shows the blatent disrespect and lack of vlaue the court has/had for Oscar Grant and his family.
However, more disturbingly, it shows how quickly those in law enforcement will be forgiven for the taking of life. Here we have an unarmed American Citizen, sitting on the concrete, handcuffed. Then after exchanging a few words with the officers was strewn across another persons legs, and while face down and handcuffed he was shot and killed. This excessive force was not necessary and resulted in the loss of life. Here is where the court should have leaned on Mehserle for what happened. As an officer, I am supposed to be able to trust you and how can the public ever do that when the courts won't hold them responsible for the devastating effects of their misdeeds.
Something must be done. This is the exact reason why the Second Amendment was written, so that the populace have a right to arm and protect themselves when the government refuses to do so. Now I wonder how different the judgement would have been if another person stepped off the BART train and shot Mehserle for what he did to Oscar Grant. How many years would that person receive? I'm just saying...
I just have to say that regardless of race, the shooting of Oscar Grant was (and is)a tragedy. To have excessive force like what we have seen be supported by the judicial system is a slap in the face.