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Mehserle Sentencing: BART Transit Cop Gets 2 Years in Shooting Death of Unarmed Man

Oscar Grant Update: Oakland Police Gear Up For Mehserle Sentencing Friday
(AP Photo, file)

LOS ANGELES/OAKLAND (CBS/AP) A judge has sentenced former BART transit officer Johannes Mehserle, who's white, to two years in prison in the shooting death of an unarmed black man on an Oakland train platform.

Mehserle was convicted in July of involuntary manslaughter in the videotaped, New Year's Day 2009 killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, a verdict which led to rioting.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums is pleading for peace in reaction to the judge's decision to sentence Mehserle to two years behind bars.  Dellums said he understands the anger, hurt and disappointment following Friday's sentencing, but said he hopes that people will express their emotions "in a manner that is nonviolent, in a manner that is nondestructive to our community."

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry had wide discretion when sentencing the 28-year-old Mehserle. The victim's family and fiancee had pleaded for the maximum of 14 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

His lawyers argued for probation.

Mehserle testified during the trial that he thought Grant had a weapon and decided to shock him with his stun gun, but instead pulled his .40-caliber handgun. Grant was unarmed and face down when he was shot.