It was all a mistake. An error, in fact.
The former BART police officer found guilty of shooting unarmed passenger Oscar Grant in 2009 merely "made an error," according to attorneys for Johannes Mehserle.
Mehserle, 30, is asking a court to overturn his conviction for involuntary manslaughter, according to the San Francisco Appeal online newspaper. He served about one year in prison after he was convicted by a Los Angeles jury in 2010.
"All he did is make an error," attorney Dylan Schaffer told a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal.
Involuntary manslaughter is a felony conviction, and Mehserle cannot return to law enforcement with a felony on his record, according to the newspaper.
In a video-recorded incident, Mehserle drew his service weapon and fatally shot Grant, 22, while Grant was lying restrained on the platform of the Fruitvale BART station on New Year's Day 2009. Mehserle claimed he meant to draw his Taser.
Attorneys for the prosecution argued that there was ample evidence to prove Mehserle acted with gross negligence in mistaking his Taster for his firearm.
The judges have three months to issue a decision, the newspaper reported. Should Mehserle be denied, he will appeal to the California and United States Supreme courts, Schaffer said.