Thursday, Jan 8, 2008
The officer involved in a New Year’s Day shooting that left a passenger dead in a crowded Oakland, California, subway station resigned Wednesday, a Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesman said.
BART spokesman Linton Johnson said in a statement that the officer’s attorney and his union representative submitted the resignation at a meeting Wednesday morning with BART police investigators. The officer was going to be at the meeting but did not show up, Johnson said.
The resignation was effective immediately.
Shortly before the funeral for the passenger, 22-year-old Oscar Grant, Johnson said the officer had received death threats.
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The BART officer fatally shot Grant in the back after he and some friends were pulled from a train car following a report of an altercation, according to a BART statement.
On Tuesday, attorney John Burris filed a $25 million claim with BART in which he identified the officer as Johannes Mehserle. Several local media outlets had already identified the officer.
Burris alleges in the claim, “Without so much as flinching the Officer Mehserle stood over Grant and mercilessly fired his weapon, mortally wounding Mr. Grant with a single gunshot wound to the back.”