Wrist-slap in Grant case

Steven Greenhut: It’s easy to understand why many people in Oakland believe that it’s impossible to get a fair shake from the justice system, after a Los Angeles jury came back with an involuntary manslaughter verdict in the murder trial of former BART officer Johannes Mehserle. He shot to death a young man, Oscar Grant, who was face down on a train platform. I expect conservatives to side with the police, but they shouldn’t. Grant was no threat. The police were the ones reportedly acting like toughs when they stopped Grant and his group. Mehserle never said he made a mistake, but that became his defense and the jury bought it.

Here a government officials shot to death an unarmed man who could not possibly have posed a threat to him. Conservatives should be outraged at this abuse of government power. They should be demanding new oversight of the agencies and police forces that have become far too aggressive and indifferent to the lives and liberties of the American population — especially as an outgrowth of a federal drug war.

The good news is there was some conviction — a rare event when it comes to police who kill people. But involuntary manslaughter?

If it were your loved one, what would you think?

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