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by Peter Moskos

July 10, 2010

Letter From Mehserle

Mehserle hand wrote this letter. I'll retype it in its entirety:
July 4, 2010
Please try to get this message to the public:


I don't know what the jury in the case is going to decide, but I hope those who hate me and those who understand that I never intended to shoot Oscar Grant will listen to this message.

I have and will continue to live everyday of my life knowing that Mr. Grant should not have been shot. i know a daughter has lost a father and a mother has lost a son. It saddens me knowing that my actions cost Mr. Grant his life. No words can express how truly sorry I am.

I hoped to talk to Ms. Johnson and Ms. Mesa in the days following this terrible event, but death threats toward my nearly-born son, my friends and family resulted in no communication occuring. I hope the day will come when anger will give way to a dialogue.

For now, and forever I will live, breathe, sleep, and not sleep with the memory of Mr. Grant screaming "you shot me" and me putting my hands on the bullet wound thinking the pressure would help while I kept telling him "you'll be okay." I tried to tell myself that maybe this shot would not be so serious, but I recall how sick I felt when Mr. Grant stopped talking, closed eyes, and seemed to change his breathing.

I don't expect that I can ever convince some individuals how sorry I am for the death of Mr. Grant, but I would not feel right if I didn't explain my thoughts as I wait for a decision by the jury.

--Johannes Merserle
7 - 4 - 2010


Cleanville Tziabatz said...

He could have and should have apologized much earlier. That stuff about death threats preventing him from apologizing is pure nonsense. Insincere croc tears in the 11th hour.

He meant to shoot Grant and even if he hadn't it still would have been a felony against Grant.

I will be so angry if the judge gives probation. The man is a murderer and should go to prison for the rest of his life.

Jim Greer said...

It's good that he's sorry I guess. I still think he should do more time than the four years he can get for involuntary...

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

Another comment: on cop boards ppl complain that the DA "overcharged" by including a murder charge. However, the taser theory did not emerge until long after the murder charge was brought.

If he had admitted up front about his taser mistake, there would have been no death threats and no murder charge. He might well have beaten the involuntary manslaughter charge if he admitted his mistake and apologized early and often. And defense lawyers understand that.

Thing is, he didn't apologize at first because there was no mistake. Instead he went around saying that he thought Grant had a gun and filling out a report saying that there was no accident.

Chuck said...

"However, the taser theory did not emerge until long after the murder charge was brought."

A big load of bull manure that is. You have no idea when this became an issue for the defense. They have no obligation to discuss issues like this in the media.

Do you actually believe anyone takes you seriously when you spin Area 51 theories like this?

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

They have no obligation to discuss issues like this in the media.

He had a moral obligation to say it on the platform (to prevent sympathetic shots from being fired).

He had an obligation to tell investigators. He didn't. He didn't because he didn't think of it.

Instead, he played a little game where he "informally" told fellow officer(s) (not investigators) that he thought he saw a gun. The truth never entered into his calculations. The truth is that he forgot about the cameras and thought he could get away with dispensing a little street justice, which is what the vast majority of policeman crave with all of their hearts. His line to Grant after he shot him is pure, classic popo, "you'll be okay."

Johnny Law said...

"He meant to shoot Grant"

So he decided to shoot Grant in front of other officers, many civilians and God knows how many cameras? Why can't you just accept this for what it is? I think you know deep down that this was most likely just an accident due to poor training. A jury heard all the evidence and seemed to think so. What gives you so much special insight?

Anonymous said...

Policemen shoot suspects all the time, and other policemen and policewomen always cover for them. Witnesses who are not police don't matter. Even in the Grant shooting, one of the officers was fired for lying on her report, presumably to help out Johannes Mehserle.

Traditionally, policemen can shoot suspects they don't like in the line of duty and get away with it. Policemen are now adjusting to the fact that they are now sometimes caught on videos they can't control -- videos that show things like the fact that Grant did not have a gun and was not being loudly ordered to get his hands behind his back.

What I am saying is that a policeman would hesitate to shoot somebody in front of witnesses is ridiculous. That is not a deterrent and it did not deter Mehserle.

In fact, even now a policeman can still get away with a shooting. He just needs to say right after the fact (and not months and months later), "whoops, I thought that was my taser. o, well, these things happen. it is just fate. the perp shouldn't have done whatever it was she did to draw the attention of law enforcement, I guess is the lesson here. now I get a medal and a raise."

Johnny Law said...

I don't remember reading that Mehserle got a medal or a raise. I seem to remember something about a guilty verdict.

Anonymous said...

No such thing as a good cop...

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

I don't remember reading that Mehserle got a medal or a raise.

Right. Because he had the taser theory explained to him far too late. He needed to give the taser theory to the investigators in the days following the shooting (preferably before the videos came out) in order to get his medal and his raise.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you "anonymous" for saying "no such thing as a good cop". Clearly your experiences with law enforcement haven't been good, or would it be more accurate to say you haven't been good? Ignorance cannot be fixed, so I won't even try.