Second man claims he was abused by BART shooter
Following Tuesday's arrest of former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer Johannes Mehserle for murder in the fatal shooting of a defenseless suspect on New Year's Eve, another man has come forward to allege that Mehserle used excessive force against him on an earlier occasion.
Ken Carrethers told ABC7 News in San Francisco that he was arrested after complaining to another passenger that his car had been broken into twice in the parking lot and the transit police did nothing because "they're standing around with their hands in their pockets."
In interviews with both ABC7 and CNN, Carrethers explained that Mehserle overheard this comment and remarked, "You're talking about us, aren't you?"
Carrethers replied, "How would you know that I'm talking about you from what I said to her?" He says that a second officer then came up and told him, "I think you're drunk."
According to Carrethers, "Mehserle said 'Have you learned not to mess with police?' And I said 'All I know is you beat me up.'"
The police report charges that Carrethers was "using profanities" and making "verbal threats" to attack the officers and resisted violently when the officers tried to subdue him.
Carrethers, however, insists that "I go to church every Sunday, and I don't cuss." He says that Mehserle grabbed him, they fell to the ground, and "before I know it I got five officers on top of me beating the hell out of me." The officers took him to a hospital, where he was described as having injuries to his face and pain in his shoulder.
An ABC7 legal analyst noted that there are a number of peculiar aspects to the officers' version of events. One is that police are trained not to overreact to merely verbal abuse. Another is that Carrethers was charged only with resisting arrest and there was no mention of any other crime for which he was being arrested.
Mehserle's attorney insisted in a statement to CNN, "The allegations are ridiculous and it didn't occur. We question the timing and the motivation."
Carrethers, however, told CNN, "Had someone listened to me at the time when I first began trying to get help, there just might have been a chance that Oscar Grant might still be alive."
He also stated of Mehserle, "He seemed to be the type of person that was arrogant and thought because he had the badge on that he couldn't be touched."
This video is from CNN's Newsroom, broadcast Jan. 15, 2009.
Download video via RawReplay.com