Grant Family "Extremely Disappointed" With Verdict

Thursday, Jul 8, 2010  |  Updated 8:25 PM PDT
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Wanda Johnson repeated "My son was murdered!" several times outside the courthouse after the verdict.

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Oscar Grant's Mom: "My Son Was Murdered!"

Johannes Mehserle verdict sparks emotional speech from victim's mother.

Oscar Grant's Family, Supporters React to Verdict

Family and supporters of Oscar Grant express disappointment with jury's decision of guilty of involuntary manslaughter for Johannes Mehserle.
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An attorney for the family of the man shot to death by a former Oakland transit officer says they are "extremely disappointed" with the verdict against the officer.

Wanda Johnson, Oscar Grant's mother, was filled with emotion as she spoke to the crowd outside the courthouse after the verdict was read.

"First, I thank God and I trust in him." Johnson said. "The system has let us down but God will never let us down."

She cited Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech" and went on to say she and supporters will continue to fight for equal rights. Johnson repeated "My son was murdered!" several times and said the jury was "tainted" and didn't deliberate long enough.

The family's attorney John Burris said  that the verdict "is not a true representation of what happened" to Oscar Grant.

The panel convicted Johannes Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Grant on an Oakland train platform on New Year's Day 2009.

"As you can imagine we are extremely disappointed with this verdict," said John Burris, the Grant family lawyer. "The verdict is not a true representative of what happened to Oscar Grant and what the officer did to him that night."

Grant's uncle, Cephus Johnson, said the family was shocked that a decision came back so quickly and that they were disappointed with the verdict.

"I'm hurt. My sister is crying," he said. "But those in the community will express their feelings in a way that is appropriate to themselves. I have said from the beginning and I will say it again, we are a family of non-violence."

Burris said Mehserle should have been convicted of murder. He said it was like Mehserle "ran a light instead of killing someone."

Involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of two to four years.

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