Grant's Family Faces Tough Day in Court - NBC Bay Area

Grant's Family Faces Tough Day in Court

Girlfriend to speak publicly for first time



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    Oscar Grant, 22, who was unarmed, was shot and killed by former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle after Mehserle and other officers responded to reports that there was a fight on a BART train.

    It was an emotional day inside a Los Angeles courtroom as the trial and testimony began Thursday but Friday may be even tougher as Grant's friends and family prepare to take the stand.

    Friends and family of Oscar Grant spent the night decompressing at an art show in Grant's honor after an emotional day of opening statements in the murder trial of former Bart Police Officer Johannes Mehserle.

    Grant's girlfriend and mother of his child, Sofina Mesa, is set to testify Friday. It will be the first time she has ever talked publicly since the shooting happened. Mesa has said Grant called her moments before the shooting, telling her officers were beating him for no reason.

    In Thursday's opening statements, the prosecutor showed the jury the cell phone video BART riders took of the shooting. Prosector David Stein says Mehserle and officer Tony Pirone, not Grant escalated the situation.

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    He also showed a surprise piece of new evidence -- a cell phone photo of Mehserle pointing his Taser at Grant taken by the victim just moments before he was shot. Grant's family feels it's a message.

    "He's still speaking to me," Wanda Grant, Oscar's mother said, "saying 'mama, I didn't deserve it.'"

    "He took that photo because he knew there was some trouble coming, "
    Grant's uncle, Bobby Johnson, said,"and that this was his last stand to say help me help me."

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    But defense attorney Michael Rains argued the shooting was an accident, saying Mehserle meant to pull his Taser and only did so because Grant was being unruly.

    Karina Vargas a young woman who took much of the video that's being used in the case will be  back on the witness stand Friday, followed by some Grant's best friends.