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OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) The attorney for former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle has released a letter his client wrote in which he said he never intended to shoot unarmed passenger Oscar Grant.
Mehserle composed the letter on Sunday and said he also hopes to speak to Grant’s mother and girlfriend at some point and apologized to Grant’s entire family.
“I have and will continue to live everyday of my life knowing that Mr. Grant should not have been shot,” he wrote. “I know a daughter has lost a father and a mother has lost a son.”
Mehserle also said he will forever “live, breathe, sleep and not sleep” with the memory of the 22-year-old Grant dying on the Fruitvale BART platform on New Year’s Day 2009.
But the letter is getting a frosty reception from the family and friends of Oscar Grant, who said Mehserle should have apologized much sooner.
“When I read the letter, I thought to myself, it’s a little late to bring that kind of letter to the public’s eye,” said John Burris, who represents Grant’s family. “The comments he made should have been made the night he shot Oscar Grant.”
On Thursday, Mehserle was convicted by a Los Angeles jury of involuntary manslaughter with an enhancement for using a gun.
Grant’s family was outraged by the verdict and it touched off violent protests in Oakland Thursday night, leading to the arrest of 78 people.