Man accuses Mehserle of excessive force

January 15, 2009 6:50:54 PM PST
An Oakland man is accusing Johannes Mehserle of using excessive force against him a month and a half before Mehserle was caught on video tape shooting Oscar Grant. Both Mehserle and his accuser have two very different stories about what happened that night right.

"I just thank god it didn't happen to me," said Ken Carrethers.

Carrethers says he's lucky Johannes Mehserle didn't shoot him the night he was arrested at the Oakland Coliseum BART station by the former officer.

On the night of November 15th, the 41-year-old said he was chatting with another passenger as they arrived at the station.

His car had been broken into twice at the parking lot, and he told his acquaintance police had done nothing. He then made a remark about the officers who were standing around the station.

"Well you see that's why, because they're standing around with their hands in their pockets," said Carrethers.

Carrethers says that comment was overheard by Mehserle who objected by saying, "you're talking about us, aren't you?"

Mehserle tells a different story in his police report. He says Carrethers was confrontational, "using profanities" and making "verbal threats against other officers."

Mehersle says Carrethers violently resisted as he and other officers tried to subdue and handcuff him.

Carrethers admits exchanging words with Mehserle, but never swearing.

"I go to church every Sunday, and I don't cuss. I treat people with respect," said Carrethers.

He says Mehserle was the aggressor.

"He grabbed me in the chest. When he grabbed me, we went to the ground. Before I know it I got five officers on top of me beating the hell out of me," said Carrethers.

Police took Carrethers to the hospital. The medical report said: "He had trauma to his face, contusion under his eye, his cheek was swollen and he had pain in his right shoulder."

It also noted that he was "awake and alert and was loud, agitated and angry."

Carrethers' attorney, John Scott, believes this incident and the shooting proves Mehserle is prone to violence and should never have been allowed to be a cop.

"This demonstrates that the incident that happened January 1st was predictable and preventable," said Scott.

ABC7 Legal analyst dean Johnson says the fact that Carrethers was only charged with resisting arrest should raise eyebrows.

"Usually people are charged with resisting arrest when they're arrested for something and there's some resisting," said Johnson.

Johnson also says police are trained to take verbal abuse and that alone should not be reason for an arrest. .

The DA's office could not tell ABC7 if a prosecutor has been assigned to this case.

BART's spokesman Linton Johnson says Carrethers' story is: "a little strange." He explained that Carrethers should have filed a complaint with the proper authorities instead of going to the media in the wake of the shooting.