The killing of Oscar Grant III: A timeline of events
Sean Maher and Paul R. Rosynsky
© Copyright 2011, Bay Area News Group
Posted: 06/13/2011 05:34:35 PM PDT
Updated: 06/13/2011 05:34:35 PM PDT
Jan. 1, 2009: Responding to reports of a fight on a late-night BART train, five transit police officers stop two trains at the Fruitvale station shortly after 2 a.m. As hundreds of passengers look on, Officer Johannes Mesherle draws his gun and shoots Oscar Grant III, of Hayward, in the back.
Jan. 3, 2009: A video that captured part of the shooting, recorded on a BART passenger's cellphone, is shown on television and posted online. Within days, the video racks up millions of views.
Jan. 7, 2009: Mehserle skips a meeting with internal BART investigators and quits his job. Later, several hundred people join a rally to protest the shooting, forcing BART to temporarily shut down service at the Fruitvale station. Several protesters become violent. In the brief riot that ensues, dozens of windows are smashed and cars are set on fire. More than 100 protesters are arrested.
Jan. 12, 2009: BART concludes its investigation into the shooting and submits its findings to Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff. The report does not comment on whether Mehserle should be charged with a crime.
Jan. 13, 2009: Orloff issues a warrant that charges Mehserle with murder. Mehserle turns himself in to authorities in Nevada, where he has been staying in the wake of several death threats.
Jan. 14, 2009: More than 1,000 protesters gather in downtown Oakland for an hours-long rally, with speakers using the words "peace" or "peaceful." When the program ends, about 50 people begin smashing windows in the City Center, and a small number are arrested for possessing Molotov cocktails.
Jan. 15, 2009: Mehserle pleads not guilty to the murder charge.
Jan. 30, 2009: A judge sets Mehserle's bail at $3 million. Police quell a protest outside the hearing. Michael Rains, Mehserle's attorney, says the now-former officer meant to use his Taser rather than his gun.
Feb. 6, 2009: Mehserle's family posts his bail, and he is freed.
Aug. 18, 2009: An independent investigation, paid for by BART, finds the officers responding to the call Jan. 1 botched their response, failing to work as a team and lapsing in tactical communication and leadership.
Oct. 16, 2009: A judge grants Mehserle's request for a change of venue, agreeing that he cannot receive a fair trial in Alameda County.
Nov. 19, 2009: The same judge orders the trial moved to Los Angeles County.
Jan. 27, 2010: BART settles with the mother of Grant's daughter, agreeing to pay $1.5 million.
June 1, 2010: Mehserle's trial begins in Los Angeles.
June 8, 2010: Jury selection ends, with no black jurors chosen. BART police, having had Taser use suspended while they were retrained and policy was re-examined, resume using the stun guns.
June 24, 2010: Mehserle speaks as a witness in his own defense, the first public words he has spoken since the shooting. He takes the stand again the next day and cries as he describes the moment he says he realized he had shot Grant.
July 1, 2010: The attorneys on both sides make their closing arguments, and the jury begins deliberations.
July 8, 2010: The Los Angeles jury reaches an involuntary manslaughter verdict against Mehserle. Riots break out in Oakland, during which several stores downtown are looted.
July 9, 2010: Rains releases a handwritten letter that Mehserle composed while he waited for the jury's verdict. In the letter, Mehserle apologizes for killing Grant, but Grant's family is not impressed.
Nov. 5, 2010: Mehserle receives a two-year prison sentence from a Los Angeles County judge who refuses to send the former officer to prison. Instead, Mehserle is sent to Los Angeles County Men's Jail and told he would be released in about 11 months, with credits for time served. Protests break out in Oakland again, but this time police control the crowd.
Dec. 3, 2010: Mehserle seeks bail while he appeals his involuntary manslaughter conviction. A Los Angeles County judge denies request.
June 13, 2011: Mehserle released at 12:01 a.m. from L.A. County Men's Central Jail.