BART Officer's Shooting Trial Could Come To L.A.
The trial of a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer accused of murdering an arrestee could come to Los Angeles after a state's Administrative Office of the Courts suggested the move following a judge's ruling that the suspect probably can't get a fair jury in Alameda County.
Johannes Mehserle is charged with famously shooting a seemingly subdued and unarmed Oscar Grant New Year's day at BART's Fruitvale Station. The shooting was captured on video. The officer said he was reaching for his taser and accidentally came up with his gun and pulled the trigger. His attorneys prefer another possible location -- San Diego -- and the family of Grant wants the trial to come to L.A., according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The case has become a cause celebre for minorities who believe the shooting represents the difference between how white people and black people (Grant was black, the officer is white) are treated by cops.
The judge, Morris Jacobson, had said it would be difficult for the onetime cop to get a fair trial in the East Bay community because of the heavy media coverage, anti-police protests and sharp comments by politicians and authorities that could taint a jury pool.
Of course, L.A. is no stranger to courthouse circuses. While the media echo chamber is no less quiet here, we're well set up for broadcasting trials as entertainment. Let the games begin.