Ex-BART Officer Johannes Mehserle's booking photograph: via KOLO TV in Nevada
Updated: 10:41 01-15-09
Updated post available here. - 13:00 01/15/09
According to The Mercury News, Johannes Mehserle was arrested Tuesday night by Douglas County sheriff's deputies in northwest Nevada on a no-bail warrant reportedly related to the Fruitvale BART station shooting death of Oscar Grant on January 1.
While confirming the arrest, Alameda County DA Tom Orloff's office refuses to discuss the case until a press conference to be held sometime on Wednesday. However, according to a press release issued by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, they were notified Tuesday morning that an arrest warrant for homicide from the Alameda County Superior Court was pending against Mehserle and that Mehserle surrendered to police after his lawyer was notified of the warrant.
Mehserle waived his right to extradition hearings at a 9:15 am hearing in court while wearing leg and wrist shackles Wednesday and California authorities have until Friday to take custody of him and return him to Alameda County.
Mehserle's lawyer has refused to comment on the arrest, as he has for all other aspects of the case, but the lawyer representing Grant's family in a civil case against the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency over the shooting applauded the arrest.
You can read our analysis of the video which shows why Mehserle and at least one of his fellow officers should be charged in this case here. Also, you can find an analysis of why we shouldn't get our hopes up quite yet that Mehserle will face any real accountability for his actions that took Grant's life just a few hours into the new year in this NewsWatch issue.
*personal note - Some newer readers may wonder why I'm covering this case so closely. First, while it's common to hear allegations of unwarranted shootings by police officers, it's rare that such a shooting is captured on video and even rarer still that such a video makes it out into the public domain like this one has.
While certainly saddening and upsetting to see such a video, and it may sound strange to think it, but I hope that something positive comes from his seemingly senseless death.
I say this not just for his family, for whom my heart goes out to... and not just for the residents of the Oakland California area either... but that it may get people across the nation to consider that police accountability, transparency, and a serious look at racism in police agencies is something that we all need to push for.
Ultimately I hope this convinces people that we should all do what we can to ensure that what happened to Oscar Grant doesn't happen to anyone else, anywhere, ever again. That's why I've been covering this case... because any of us could could have been Oscar Grant, or may yet be.
Updated: 10:41 01-15-09