Mehserle Not Guilty in 2008 Beating: Jury

A 43-year-old Oakland man claimed five BART officers beat him up.

By Mike Anderson
|  Thursday, Dec 1, 2011  |  Updated 4:45 PM PDT
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BART Police Civil Trial Testimony Begins

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Carrethers' attorney asked the seven-member jury in San Francisco to reward Carrethers at least $1 million.

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A federal jury said Thursday that former BART officer Johannes Mehserle is not guilty in the alleged beating of an Oakland man in 2008.

A civil rights lawsuit named Mehserle and four other officers in the beating incident that happened less than seven weeks before Mehserle shot and killed Oscar Grant III at the Fruitvale BART station on New Year's Day 2009.

Kenneth Carrethers, a 43-year-old Oakland man, claimed that after he made profane comments criticizing the officers for allowing break-ins to his car, the five officers tied him up while kicking and punching him. Carrethers was arrested at BART's Coliseum-Oakland Airport station on Nov. 15, 2008.

The officers said they used reasonable force and denied kicking, punching or hog-tying him.

Carrethers' attorney had previously asked the seven-member jury in San Francisco to reward Carrethers at least $1 million for the alleged free-speech violation. But the jury unanimously found all five officers not guilty of various charges, including use of excessive force, malicious prosecution, battery and retaliation against Carrethers.

Video of Mehserle shooting unarmed Grant in the back while he was on the ground went viral. Mehserle said he meant to use his Tazer instead of his gun.

That trial was moved to Los Angeles because of publicity and timing, a judge ruled. On July 8, 2010, Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, which sparked protests and riots in Oakland.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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