(AllHipHop News) A former officer convicted in the shooting death of Oscar Grant was sentenced to 2-years in prison Friday afternoon.
Johannes Mehserle, a former officer for Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), had already been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the New Year's Day 2009 killing of the 22-year-old Grant. Grant was unarmed and subdued when Mehserle discharged his weapon on the Bay Area Rapid Transit station platform.
Involuntary manslaughter carries a prison term of up to four years, but the judge gave Mehserle the shortest possible jail sentence.
The jury handed down a gun enhancement charge that could have gotten Mehserle and additional 10 years. The judge threw that out.
The case was also racially charged because Mehserle, who is White, shot Grant, a Black man.
Mehserle testified in court that he thought he unstrapped his taser-not his gun- when Grant was mortally wounded. Mehserle already had Grant face down on the platform when he killed the then 22-year old.
People cried openly at the verdict and Grant's family members expressed outrage over the judge's decision.
"I knew what the judge was going to say even before he said it," Cephus Johnson, an uncle of Grant's, told sfgate.com. "This whole thing was argued before we got here today."
With time-served, Mehserle could be out of jail in seven months.
He expressed his own sadness and regret for his actions before the sentence was read.
Mehserle said, "I did not become an officer to take a life, but because it gave me the opportunity to protect and save lives. I pray the public can understand that police officers are also human. I am deeply sorry. I am. ... Nothing I can ever do will heal the wound I have created."