Mehserle Writes Letter to the Public

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.”

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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.

Copy of Mehserle letter

  • Jaya Santhan Tony

    It seems that he is sorry for his actions…..However, he should have isssued an apology like this long time ago….I hope he will validate his sorrow for his mistake via reparation for his impulsive life costing action. I am sure the Oakland African American community and Oscar’s family will give him consideration to carry out his current sentence if Johannes Mehserle will be willing to make a life long committment to helping and establishing a scholarship fund for Oscar’s young daughter. I also hope he will be inspired to teach his young newborn son to always think w/ kindness before being impulsive and judging a situation based on a person’s physical appearance…

    • Ann SB

      The (mother of) the daughter of Oscar Grant has already received $1 million. That is more money than Meserle’s son will ever receive, if his father can even find a job now. How much more can they want?

  • Mark Pecoraro

    In retrospect, an apology a long time ago would have been appropriate. But given our legal system, no person in their right mind would say a word publicly before a fair trial, and a verdict from a jury. To say his apology is long over due is a foolish reaction to the outcome of this tragic situation, which had to navigate our justice system before he could speak freely without it being help against him. You really think Burris wouldn’t take his apology as an admission of guilt? Really people…

  • Dennis Sutton

    Well I understand that when you are charged with a crime you need a defense thats the american way. Now what I am upset about is the fact that officer Mehserle stated he thought he was going for his taser and grabbed his gun by mistake. Now it sounds like agood defense until you put common sense in the equation. Which means is that he was competent enought to get out of the police academy but, now you want to say he could not tell the difference if he had or had no taser. When you check out your equipment you know what you have. Weapon, cuffs more than one, radio,pen, pad clips,agent,badge, holster and your back up. So, he could remember he had his radio, and uffs and weapon, why just why could he not realize he had no taser. Sorry but no winners and young african american deceased another father less child. And here you have a young man who wanted to be a police officer he probably been dreaming about being a police officer his whole life. Maybe he thought one day he would be chief. But his most beloved dream has become his nightmare a place to escape drama gone why because he did not realize he had no taser ok if you say so. My opinion just mine only. I think you came up with that after the fact come on Mehserle. I think the young man was on the ground and he was probably mouthing off and you got pissed you just lost it could have happen to anyone who is not paying attention However, we are not talking about anyone just you. Anyway God bless you and your family and the Grant family no winners here ust a real sad story

  • Jackie

    I totally agree with Mark. Every defendant is advised not to say ANYTHING because someone will find a way to use it against them. I believe this was a tragic accident as there was so much chaos that night. Carelessness or negligence is one thing and Intent is something much different and I do not believe this was intentional and I don’t believe this was racially motivated. Think about the parents that are distracted and forget they have a baby in the back seat and they get out of the car and leave the baby who later dies of heat exhaustion. Yes, they were careless and negligent (I’m not talking about ones that are drunk or on drugs) but there was absolutely no intention
    of killing their child. As tragic as it is, it is not murder, second degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. I hope all parties involved will find a way to come to terms with this and that something positive will come out of it.

  • JewellGregg

    Look, Blacks will not accept an apology under any conditions at any time in this case..Mesherly could have cut off his left leg and sacrificed his son and that still would have not been enough. Blacks will always put blame on whites for their condition,downfalls, addictions, financial problems, lack of employment, housing etc, etc, So Meshirly’s apology letter could have come at ANY TIME, be it the day of the shooting or 10 years from now, it would not make a hill of xxxx difference to blacks. They will forever blame whites for everything that is wrong with their lives and NEVER STAND ACCOUNTABLE for any part of anything as long as there is a white person nearby. That is the reason they continue to stand “oppressed” and will continue to keep themselves that way.

  • Jackie

    Well said, Jewell. These are basically the same remarks that black comedian, Bill Cosby made in a speech about blacks. He basically said it’s time to take responsibility and stop trying to blame someone else for your own circumstances. That goes for everyone, not just the black people.

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