The former transit police officer convicted of killing an unarmed black man in an Oakland train station has written a letter apologizing to the victim's family.
Johannes Mehserle said in a handwritten letter, released by his lawyer Friday, that he will forever "live, breathe, sleep and not sleep" with the memory of 22-year-old Oscar Grant dying on the train platform.
Mehserle said he'll live every day "knowing that Mr. Grant should not have been shot."
The letter is dated July 4, four days before a Los Angeles jury convicted him of involuntary manslaughter.
The verdict outraged Grant's family and, where the case has enflamed racial tensions.
Text of Johannes Mehserle's apology letter written on Sunday, before Thursday's verdict:
Please try to get this message to the public:
I don't know what the jury in this case is going to decide, but I hope those who hate me and those who understand that I never intended to shoot Oscar Grant will listen to this message.
I have and will continue to live everyday of my life knowing that Mr. Grant should not have been shot. I know a daughter has lost a father and a mother has lost a son. It saddens me knowing that my actions cost Mr. Grant his life, no words express how truly sorry I am.
I hoped to talk to Ms. Johnson and Ms. Mesa in the days following this terrible event, but death threats toward my newly born son, my friends and family resulted in no communication occurring. I hope the day will come when anger will give way to a dialogue.
For now, and forever I will live, breathe, sleep, and not sleep with the memory of Mr. Grant screaming "You shot me" and putting my hands on the bullet wound thinking the pressure would help while I kept telling him "You'll be okay." I tried to tell myself that maybe this shot would not be so serious, but I recall how sick I felt when Mr. Grant stopped talking, closed his eyes and seemed to change his breathing.
I don't expect that I can ever convince some individuals how sorry I am for the death of Mr. Grant, but I would not feel right if I didn't explain my thoughts as I wait for a decision by the jury.