Jury selection is underway in the murder trial of Johannes Mehserle, the transit officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant at the Fruitville Station transit hub on New Year's Day 2009.
Jurors will be deciding whether Mehserle, 28, accidently grabbed his sidearm instead of his Taser—as his defense team will argue—or whether he intended to shot Grant, 22, in the back as he lay on the platform, as prosecutors allege.
The defense will argue not that Mehserle acted in self defense, but that the shooting was accidental because Mehserle believed he drew his Taser in the four seconds he drew his sidearm and fired.
Evidence presented, according to the San Jose Mercury News, will include:
In addition to the videos and testimony from both BART officers who responded to the scene and passengers on the Dublin-Pleasanton-bound train, both attorneys will present the jury with detailed evidence about police officer training and responses to crowd control, court documents show.
Both attorneys will use the evidence about police training to show what Mehserle thought as he reached to his hip and pulled out his gun.
Mehserle, who served as an officer for 22 months, is facing state prison.
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Tragedy at Fruitville Station (SWAT blog)