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Local Protests Expected For Today's Release of ex-BART Cop Johannes Mehserle

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The controversial Bay Area case of ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle went to trial here in Los Angeles last year. Mehserle, found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of transit patron Oscar Grant, has served 11 months of his 2-year sentence, and was released early this morning. Protests are expected both in the Bay Area and in Downtown L.A.

"Demonstrators are being called to gather Monday outside the Justice Department's offices in downtown Los Angeles and downtown Oakland, organizers said over the weekend," explains L.A. Now.

Mehserle has been released from Los Angeles County Jail because of time served and good behavior.

Protests erupted in Oakland after Mehserle's conviction and sentencing, as many felt the officer should have been convicted of a stronger charge and been given more jail time. The case and trial sparked racial tensions; Mehserle is white, and his victim, Grant, black.

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In the crime, which was captured on video by witnesses, Mehserle shot Grant in the back inside a BART station. Mehserle maintained he had mistakenly grabbed his pistol and not his Taser.

The LAPD has been prepared for protest outside the Justice Department's offices in Downtown this morning.