Cop Who Killed Unarmed Man Being Sued in Unrelated Case

Johannes Mehserle, the Bay Area Rapid Transit officer who killed an unarmed man at a train platform, now faces a civil trial in another unrelated case where excessive use of force is alleged.

On January 1, 2009 police detained several men on the platform of the Fruitvale BART station for reasons that were never made clear. While laying face down on the platform and being held down by police, Oscar Grant III was shot in the back by Mehserle and died. The now former officer served one year in prison for the killing.

About six weeks before that incident, Mehserle and several other officers had a confrontation which has now led to this new civil trial. Here is an excerpt from the latest report:

Kenneth Carrethers, an Oakland resident, is suing BART, Mehserle and four other transit-police officers in U.S. District Court for using excessive force after they allegedly kicked, punched and hogtied him during an incident at the Oakland Coliseum BART station three years ago. Jury selection in the civil case is scheduled to begin Monday, and Mehserle is supposed to be in the courtroom for the entirety of the trial, said Carrethers’ attorney, Christopher Dolan. Mehserle is expected to testify during the trial.

On Nov. 15, 2008, Carrethers made a comment about how lazy BART police officers were within earshot of Mehserle, according to documents filed by Carrethers’ lawyers. Mehserle allegedly responded by grabbing Carrethers from behind without warning and leg-sweeping him to the ground, at which time the four other officers “piled on” while punching and kicking Carrethers.
Carrethers was later transported to a local hospital, where he was treated for injuries.

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