Oakland BART Officer Arrested in Nevada for Murder of Oscar Grant

Johannes Mehserle, the BART transit police officer who is accused of shooting and killing 22-year-old Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day at a BART train station in Oakland, California was arrested Tuesday in Nevada on murder charges.

The former BART police officer accused of shooting and killing a Hayward man will soon return to California.

27-year-old Johannes Mehserle is expected to arrive back in the state by Friday. Wednesday morning, he waived extradition during a hearing in Nevada.

Investigators say he was taken into custody there Tuesday on homicide charges.

The arrest came 12 days after witnesses say he shot 22-year-old Oscar Grant on a BART train platform in Oakland.

The initial shooting death of Grant prompted widespread riots in California in response and, this past Wednesday night, protests continued and, sadly, continued to end in violence.

Hundreds of people gathered at City Hall on Wednesday and marched to the Alameda County Courthouse, shouting, “We will march, we will chant, until there’s justice for Oscar Grant!” and “I am Oscar Grant!” Organizers also called for the resignation of county Dist. Atty. Tom Orloff, doubting his ability to successfully prosecute accused police officers. Police in riot gear were out in force.

Addressing the group on Oak Street between the courthouse and the county administration building, Grant’s grandfather rejoiced that “they got the man who killed my grandson.” Oscar Grant Sr. also beseeched the crowd to “keep peace.”

But despite his plea, the demonstration ended violently after a small group splintered off and damaged local businesses and several cars parked along the streets.

It is a rare occurrence for arrested police officers to be convicted of murder charges and one has to wonder whether such a conviction could be possible in this case?

In videos that have been broadcast on television and viewed hundreds of thousands of times on the Internet, a uniformed officer later identified as Mehserle stands over a prostrate Grant, pulls his gun and fires point-blank into Grant’s back.

Although six of the officers involved in the incident gave statements shortly afterward, Mehserle contacted an attorney and refused to comment. Nearly a week after the shooting, he resigned from the BART police force and holed up at a family property near Lake Tahoe.

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