Bay Area reactions to Mehserle trial 

“My work let us out early based on the verdict. They wanted to make sure everyone got home safe”

— Leslie Rinehart, going to Dublin


“I think the verdict should have been voluntary manslaughter. Anyone who takes out a gun and shoots someone ... that’s no accident.”

— John Perez, waiting for BART train at Embarcadero station


“I can’t think the officer meant to shoot him, it was just a terrible mistake. It just doesn’t make sense to me that he meant to do it.”

— Anonymous white woman waiting for train


“I think the verdict is fair. I believe it was an accident. I think had it been a mixed jury the verdict may have been the same but it may have taken longer to attain.”

— Mark McCunney


“I think the verdict is fair, it was probably an honest mistake. It was the right decision either way, it shouldn’t have been first-degree murder, shouldn’t have been second-degree murder.”

— Anonymous black man who was in Los Angeles when the shooting happened and just moved to San Francisco


“I’m on the fence about it because we have no way of really knowing what happened especially with all the videos on the internet. I’d like to think that a different jury wouldn’t make a difference in the verdict but I think it would.”

— Anonymous Asian woman waiting for train to Daly City


“I think it’s just one step up from acquittal, which I definitely wouldn’t have voted for.”

— Anonymous woman rushing onto the train to Oakland


“I don’t think the verdict is fair. The kid was handcuffed. The cop definitely knew what he was doing.”

— Lillian Kang, Asian woman from the East Bay


“The verdict is absolutely not fair! As a cop, you have to stand with your gun’s safety on and click it off when you pull it, it’s a complicated process. I used to shoot guns myself so I know how they work. The cop knew what he was doing when the shooting happened but it was too late. Cops are trained not to make mistakes and if he was a civilian blood would have been shed.”

— Paula Handra


“The cop knew what he was doing. I definitely think he’s guilty. A cop should know the difference between his gun and his Taser.”

— Jesse Parinchetta


“It may have just been the heat of the moment and ultimately an accident, but he should have been trained in a way that would have prevented the situation.”

— Dave (no last name given), white man


“The verdict seems a little light. As a police officer, you should know the difference between your gun and your Taser. The responsibility is very high when you’re carrying a weapon that can easily kill someone.”

— Matt Sardine


“I assume the process was fair. Both sides have the opportunity to choose their jury members so I have no reason to presume that the verdict should be unfair.”

— Ian York


“If he was already subdued with his hands behind his back what’s the need for further force? He was handcuffed and shot, that’s basically execution.”

— Lee Parodi


“We are talking about killing a person, here. I really don’t think he meant to do it.”

— Randy Walker, 45, San Francisco


“Of course I think it’s a horrible tragedy and he needs to be held accountable. I think they need to step up their training. Why do they have guns in the first place?”

— James Geppert, 43, San Francisco


“I don’t think people are willing to put their crack pipe down long enough to start a riot down here. I also don’t think anyone can really know what he was thinking except for him.”

— Seth Carter, 34, San Francisco


“It doesn’t matter if he meant to do it or not. It doesn’t matter if he thought it was a Taser or if he thought it was a gun. He killed him.”

— Amleset Abraha, 31, San Francisco

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