Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer accused of murder in the January 1, 2009 shooting death of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, was released today after posting $3 million bail.

Johannes Mehserle

Johannes Mehserle

Johannes Mehserle, the 27-year old former Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer accused of murdering Oscar Grant, posted $3 million bail and was released from jail in Alameda County, California this afternoon.

Mehserle has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murdering 22-year-old Oscar Grant on an Oakland BART platform. We reported on the incident here, where we posted the now famous video of the incident. Multiple videos of the incident have been released by numerous media sources since the incident. The videos show Oscar Grant lying on the BART platform when Mehserle shoots him without any visible provocation. His defense attorneys have argued that Mehserle accidentally shot Grant with his service weapon, when he intended to disable him with a Taser. The defense is likely attempting to have Mehserle convicted of a lesser charge like manslaughter or negligent homicide instead of murder.

The shooting sparked protests throughout the Bay Area, some of which led to vandalism and property destruction. This afternoon, there was another protest in downtown Oakland against police brutality, which coincided with Mehserle’s release. However, since the event was planned in advance, most of today’s protesters were unaware of Mehserle’s release.

See video taken at Johannes Mehserle’s bail hearing:

Johannes Mehserle Bail Hearing