Johannes Mehserle, the former BART cop convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the Oscar Grant case, is currently back in court standing trial along with four other BART PD officers for alleged police misconduct that predates the killing of Oscar Grant. But Mehserle's father, the man who famously mounted a "Free Johannes Mehserle" grassroots campaign from a large sailboat parked in McCovey Cove, won't be attending the rest of the trial after a U.S. District Court judge banned him from the proceedings yesterday. As it turns out, the elder Mehserle hasn't toned down his antics at all, even after his son was released with only half his jail time served.
According to the Examiner's courthouse report, the Mehserle patriarch has been attending the proceedings, in which his son is accused of using excessive force in an arrest at the Fruitvale BART station in 2008. Oscar Grant's Uncle Bobby (neé Cephus Johnson) was also in attendance last week, which apparently set off Mr. Mehserle's sarcastic jerk reflex. Todd was heard taunting Johnson with quips like "Smile, Bobby!" and "Have a good Thanksgiving", while snapping photos of Johnson with his cellphone.
Taking photos inside the courthouse is illegal, of course, but besides that Johnson rightly found the comments to be incredibly inappropriate, coming from a family member of a convicted killer, as they were. The judge agreed and has since banned the elder Mehserle from the rest of the proceedings. An attorney representing the BART PD officers, on the other hand, said his client's father "made a simple mistake" when he went all paparazzi on Uncle Bobby.