Thandisizwe Chimurenga is in the courtroom at the May 7th pretrial hearing in Los Angeles today for  Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer, charged with murder in the killing of an unarmed passenger, Oscar Grant.  Chimurenga will be filing a story later today, but some highlights of the hearing include the following information:

  • The judge did not accept defense lawyer Michael Rain’s request that Mehserle, who resigned from the BART force after this shooting, be addressed as Officer Mehserle.  He also denied a request to only call Oscar Grant by his name, and will allow him to be called the victim, but not the murder victim, since murder had not been proven as of yet.
  • The judge also agreed to allow expert witnesses discuss taser usage, but also heard a motion from the prosecutor that introduced the idea that even tasering Oscar Grant represented excessive force, as he was prone and face down on the platform with three officers around him.

Thandisizwe Chimurenga
will file a full story later today. See earlier stories here.