Court: Grant's Dad Can Sue Officer Who Killed Son

Wanda Johnson (C),  the mother of Oscar J. Grant III, walks with supporters as they leave the Los Angeles Superior Court after the involuntary manslaughter verdict against former Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer Johannes Mehserle, who was charged with last years death of her son, in Los Angeles on July 8, 2010.  The former San Francisco area transit police officer was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 shooting of an unarmed man, an incident that inflamed racial tensions in the region. Johannes Mehserle, 28, was found guilty in the shooting on New Year's Day 2009 in the trial, which was moved to Los Angeles because of a racially charged atmosphere in the northern California city of Oakland, where the shooting took place. A Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer, Mehserle was responding to reports of fighting on the subway when he shot and killed Oscar Grant, 22.            AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Court: Grant's Dad Can Sue Officer Who Killed Son

Oscar Grant's father may now sue the Northern California transit officer who shot and killed his son on a train platform.

Published July 31, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court says Oscar Grant's father can sue the Northern California transit officer who shot and killed his son on a train platform.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected former officer Johannes Mehserle's claim that he was acting in his official capacity when he killed the younger Grant during a 2009 New Year's Day melee captured on video by several bystanders.

Violent demonstrations ensued after the videos showing the white officer shooting the unarmed black man were viewed by millions online.

The appeals court said it's up to a jury to determine whether Mehserle was justified in shooting Grant in the back as he lay face down on the train platform.

Mehserle served 11 months in prison after he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

The appeals court's decision affirmed a lower court ruling.


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(Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Written by Associated Press

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