Officials at the U.S. Department of Justice say its civil rights division will investigate the white former transit police officer who shot an unarmed black man in Oakland, California last year.
Johannes Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for shooting Oscar Grant in the back on the subway, while attempting to subdue him after a fight. Several witnesses captured the January 2009 encounter on video.
Mehserle claims he mistakenly drew a pistol instead of his electric Taser weapon and shot the 22-year-old Grant.
The verdict Thursday enflamed emotions in Oakland, where at least a dozen businesses were damaged and more than 80 people were arrested.
Mehserle could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison when he is sentenced on Aug, 6. He could face additional prison time if the Department of Justice charges him with violating Grant's civil rights.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.