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Two Years Not Enough, Say Protesters
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Community Members Express Disappointment At Mehserle Sentence
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums Urges Nonviolent Protest

Oakland officials hit the streets of their city Saturday to assess the damage to the community resulting from protests that started after former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for fatally shooting Oscar Grant III.

Just over 150 arrests were made during the protests, mostly for unlawful assembly, according to the Oakland Police Department. More than a third of those arrested live outside of Oakland.

The majority of those arrested were in their 20s and 30s, Officer Jeff Thomason said. Charges will be filed after a report is completed by investigators who are reviewing photographs and video of the protesters.

The protesters began gathering shortly after a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge sentenced Mehserle to a two-year prison sentence Friday afternoon for fatally shooting a 22-year-old unarmed father. Mehserle could have faced anything from probation to 14 years in state prison.

Following the sentencing, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said he understood the community’s angry reactions to Mehserle’s prison sentence for shooting Grant at the Fruitvale BART station in 2009, but he called for nonviolent protest.

Mehserle said he mistakenly used his gun instead of his Taser.

Community & Economic Development Agency employees were canvassing
impacted businesses today. They identified one business that had broken windows, according to city of Oakland officials. A few businesses were vandalized with graffiti.

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  • JOA

    None of this would have occurred had Oscar Grant not been involved in a fight on the BART train that New Year’s Eve that brought the police and officer Mehserle to MacArthur Station.

    All the subsequent events, the accidental shooting, the trial, the riots are Mr. Grant’s responsibility ultimately.

    Officer Mehserle answered the call and like any police call you do not know who or what is involved, whether there were guns, knives, drugs, whatever – police everywhere put their lives on the line each and every moment. As a resident of Oakland I am indebted to their service.

    The man sitting next to Mr. Grant obeyed police orders and sat there quietly, not moving – I presume he is still alive today. Mr. Grant was visibly resisting; had he sat or laid there quietly his condition today would have been the same as the other man’s.

    The rioting that ensued is shameful and unnecessary – an excuse for the disenfranchised and misguided to express themselves.

  • JOA

    None of this would have occurred had Oscar Grant not been involved in a fight on the BART train that New Year’s Eve that brought the police and officer Mehserle to MacArthur Station.

    All the subsequent events, the accidental shooting, the trial, the riots are Mr. Grant’s responsibility ultimately.

    Officer Mehserle answered the call and like any police call you do not know who or what is involved, whether there were guns, knives, drugs, whatever – police everywhere put their lives on the line each and every moment. As a resident of Oakland I am indebted to their service.

    The man sitting next to Mr. Grant obeyed police orders and sat there quietly, not moving – I presume he is still alive today. Mr. Grant was visibly resisting; had he sat or laid there quietly his condition today would have been the same as the other man’s.

    The rioting that ensued is shameful and unnecessary – an excuse for the disenfranchised and misguided to express themselves.

  • Anymouse

    Reactionary trolling from someone who’s never had a bad interaction with authority.

    Nobody who did what Grant did deserves what Grant got.

  • Anymouse

    Reactionary trolling from someone who’s never had a bad interaction with authority.

    Nobody who did what Grant did deserves what Grant got.

  • Erik

    I agree that summary execution should be the penalty for unruly behavior on a train.

  • Erik

    I agree that summary execution should be the penalty for unruly behavior on a train.

  • Soonerdiver

    This was not a “demonstration”, rather it was a riot! It’s intent was to disrupt, destroy and damage as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.

    Right, wrong or indifferent… the police officer was tried and found guilty and the people (I use that term loosely) would have responded the same if the officer had been sentenced to life in prison… they were looking for an excuse to destroy.

    The State of California has many, many problems and really doesn’t need the added expense of the lawsuits for damages that occured.

  • Soonerdiver

    This was not a “demonstration”, rather it was a riot! It’s intent was to disrupt, destroy and damage as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.

    Right, wrong or indifferent… the police officer was tried and found guilty and the people (I use that term loosely) would have responded the same if the officer had been sentenced to life in prison… they were looking for an excuse to destroy.

    The State of California has many, many problems and really doesn’t need the added expense of the lawsuits for damages that occured.