With all the chaos and yelling and turmoil surrounding him as he was trying to handcuff Oscar Grant, BART police officer Johannes Mehserle managed to say quite a mouthful to his partner before pulling his gun out and shooting Grant.
“I’m going to taze him, I’m going to taze him. I can’t get his arms. He won’t give me his arms. His hands are going for his waistband.”
Now I’m not a cop but if I were struggling with a suspect, I would be talking to the suspect, not to my partner.
I would be threatening to taze him if he did not cooperate, not tell my partner I’m going to taze him.
I would be ordering the suspect to “give me your arms,” not tell my partner, “he won’t give me his arms.”
I would be ordering the suspect to “let me see your hands,” not tell my partner, “his hands are going for his waistband.”
And while the statements Mehserle supposedly made to his partner indicate he meant to use a Taser gun instead of a firearm, he also turned to his partner after the shooting and supposedly said the following:
“Tony, I thought he was going for a gun.”
Now if I was a cop and thought the suspect was going for a gun, I would reach for my firearm, not my Taser gun. Just as Mehserle did on the platform of the Bay Area Rapid Transit in Oakland on New Year’s Day, as we’ve seen on the videos.
The only problem is that Grant did not have a gun. Nor a knife. Nor any weapon that would justify Mehserle shooting him with a firearm and not a Taser gun.
It appears that Mehserle’s partner, BART officer Tony Pirone, is trying his best to set up a defense that would justify the shooting. Only he has contradicted himself.
Pirone said that Mehserle first shared explicit intentions of wanting to taze Grant instead of shooting him.
But Pirone also said that Mehserle told him he feared for his life, thinking Grant was going for a gun, which was why he shot him.
Considering that Pirone is under investigation himself because he was caught on video punching Grant in the face in the moments before he got shot, he is not the most credible witness.
Judge Morris Jacobson didn’t buy the story either, which is why he set Mehserle’s bail at $3 million, of which he must pay ten percent or $300,000.
“He has the willingness to add to the story, to change the story, to make up something that’s not true to avoid consequences,” said Jacobson, who imposed a temporary gag order in the case until the next hearing, on Feb. 10.
As of Saturday, Mehserle still had not posted bail.
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