Johannes Mehserle Protestors Sue Oakland Police

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on June 14, 2011 6:52 AM

A Johannes Mehserle protest lawsuit has been filed. The class action litigation has been filed against the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and the Oakland Police Department. The class action was filed on behalf of about 150 protestors who claim their rights were violated by the law enforcement agencies.

Johannes Mehserle is the ex-BART police officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant in 2009, reports KTVU-TV. Grant, 22, was unarmed at the time. Mehserle maintains that he thought he was reaching for his stun gun, but accidentally fired his service weapon and killed Grant.

Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to two years in prison, and was released Monday, reports KTVU-TV.

The new suit was filed on behalf of about 150 who protested Mehserle's sentencing last November, reports KTVU-TV. They thought his sentence was too short.

Police violated their own crowd control policies by arresting the 150 protestors, according to the protestors' attorneys. They refused to give the protestors the opportunity to leave, and instead surrounded them and arrested them en masse, reports KTVU-TV.

The arrested protestors were detained for up to 28 hours and were not given access to restrooms or to food for lengthy periods of time. No actual crimes were charged against the arrested protestors, reports KTVU-TV.

The new lawsuit is asking for an injunction that would make the police department comply with their crowd control policies and is also asking for monetary damages, according to KTVU-TV.

The class action is likely also a strategic move. Class actions are usually filed on behalf of a large group of plaintiffs who have suffered similar injuries that might be relatively minor if you look at each particular injury. But, in aggregating all the cases together, the litigation becomes much larger, with greater damages amounts.

Still, it's probably too early to tell what will happen with the lawsuit. The Johannes Mehserle protest lawsuit has only recently been filed against the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and the Oakland Police Department. The class action was filed several hours after Mehserle was released from prison, according to KTVU-TV.

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