Oscar Grant Family Calls Mehserle Letter A Ploy

Ex-Bart cop's missive dismissed as effort to get a more lenient sentence.

By Julianne Hing Jul 12, 2010

Oscar Grant’s family has rejected a letter from their son’s killer, ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle, that was released to the public last Friday.

In the three-page letter, which opened with a note to his attorney, Michael Rains, asking that he "make sure this get to the public," Mehserle said that he did not expect people to understand how sorry he was, but that he felt compelled to make a public statement, regardless.

Mehserle wrote: "For now, and forever I will live, breathe, sleep, and not sleep with the memory of Mr. Grant screaming ‘You shot me’ and me putting my hands on the bullet wound thinking the pressure would help while I kept telling him ‘You’ll be okay.’"

But Grant’s family isn’t buying it. "This was a letter that was purposely designed to influence the judge," Grant’s uncle Cephus Johnson said to a gathering outside the True Vine Baptist church on Saturday. "We’re not buying it as a letter of apology to us."

"This letter was not addressed to us, it was addressed to the public," Johnson told California Beat. "I didn’t see my name, my sister’s name, Tatiana’s [Grant’s daughter] name, Sophina’s [Mesa, Grant’s fiancee’s] name."

Mehserle is in a Los Angeles County jail, where he wil remain until his sentencing on August 6. He faces a sentence of anywhere from five to 14 years in jail, but also has the possibility to petition for probation.