Oscar Grant Trial: Gripping Testimony Opens Defense
Julianne Ong Hing, June 23, 2010

Johannes Mehserle’s defense opened Tuesday with more than three hours of tense, emotional testimony from Oscar Grant’s good friend Jackie Bryson, who was on the train platform with Grant when he was killed. Defense attorney Michael Rains worked to paint Bryson as a liar and, failingly, to prompt an admission that he overheard Mehserle say he planned to Taser Grant, thus proving the shooting an accident.

Bryson proved a formidable witness against the defense, however. His recounting of Grant’s shooting, which came after three hours of combative back and forth with Rains, gripped the courtroom. “Smoke was coming out of his back, and they turned him over and there was a puddle of blood,” Bryson recalled. “I said, ‘Oscar, Oscar, stay awake.’ Everybody started screaming his name,” Bryson recalled. Bryson remembered someone begging for the BART police to call for help, but being told: “When you shut the fuck up, then we’ll call the ambulance.”

“His eyes is there, but blood starts coming out of his mouth,” Bryson remembered, the emotion bubbling up in his voice. “’Let me talk to him,’ I said, ‘I can keep him here. I know you don’t want him to die.’” Bryson told cops on the platform. (Read the full article)