White ex-officer on trial in killing of black man

Published June 10, 2010

LOS ANGELES – Opening statements are expected Thursday in the trial of a white former transit officer charged with killing an unarmed black man at an Oakland train station last year.

Johannes Mehserle has pleaded not guilty to murdering Oscar Grant on New Year's Day in a shooting that was caught on video by several bystanders. The case was moved to Los Angeles because of intense media coverage and violence sparked by racial tensions.

Prosecutors have said Mehserle intended to shoot Grant and he used his weapon because officers were losing control of the situation. Mehserle's attorney contends his client accidentally pulled out a handgun instead of his stun gun.

Written by Associated Press

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