OAKLAND, Calif. – A former transit officer accused of murdering an unarmed man at an Oakland train station was ordered to stand trial in October, and his lawyer is asking to move the emotionally charged case to another city.
Johannes Mehserle pleaded not guilty Thursday to murdering 22-year-old Oscar Grant. Mehserle shot Grant on New Year's Day after he was pulled off a train for allegedly fighting.
Mehserle's lawyer, Michael Rains, says Mehserle meant to use his Taser, not his pistol.
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The case has fueled tension between Oakland's black community and law enforcement. Mehserle is white. Grant was black. A change of venue hearing is scheduled for September.
Rains also intends to file a complaint against Judge C. Don Clay who earlier ruled there's enough evidence for murder.