Oakland Braces for Race Riots Over Mehserle Verdict

BART cop Johannes Mehserle is accused of second degree murder in the shooting of African American Oscar Grant. Mehserle’s defense: he meant to Tase Grant, not fire a 9mm bullet into his back. The defense rested yesterday (Friday), sending the case to the jury for their final determination. Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and Police Chief Chief Batts reckon that an acquittal could spark race riots. They’ve called for calm ahead of the verdict, and recommended that “on the day the verdict is announced, park your car in a secure location, if possible.” [download Community Information Bullegtin here.] The smart money says the jury will convict Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter.

Message from Mayor Ron Dellums and Chief Batts on a United Oakland:

We are united as a city and a community, and we are dedicated to ensuring the safe expressions of emotions during this difficult time.

We understand that the community is grieving, and we are in this together. We will get through this together.

There are many people ready to help begin the healing process and they have opened their doors to allow us to express our grief in a healthy manner that will not endanger our safety, livelihood or reputation as a city.

We are asking for the community to come together, look out for one another, and stay safe. We will not tolerate destruction or violence. We live here, and we love Oakland.

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