Former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle was released from a Los Angeles jail shortly after midnight on Monday, after having served a total of 365 days in the Los Angeles Central Jail. This included his time served while incarcerated during his trial and while awaiting sentencing.

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Oakland activists organized a peaceful march from the Fruitvale BART station to Frank Ogawa Plaza on Sunday night to protest the upcoming release of ex-BART police officer Johannes Mehserle from jail. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter last July for the 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant, and sentenced that November to two years in prison.

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2010 was a tumultuous year for Oakland as both the city and state faced a heated election season, the courts weighed the validity of controversial measures passed during previous elections, and the effects of the 2008 financial collapse continued to reverberate throughout the local economy, but it was also a year of new beginnings. Oakland North presents a guide to the year’s top stories.

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BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey in his office above the Lake Merritt BART station.

Ever since then-BART police officer Johannes Mehserle fatally shot Oscar Grant on the platform of its Fruitvale station nearly two years ago, BART—and particularly its police force—has struggled to rebuild its relationship with the communities it serves. New BART Police Chief Kenton Rainey says he’s the man for the job.

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Boarded up storefront

Oakland police officials say there was minimal damage Friday night as protesters marched through the city in response to the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle. By the end of the evening, two Oakland businesses sustained broken windows and six cars were damaged in the wake of the protest.

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Police cordon off a residential block Friday night in East Oakland, where protesters were arrested following the announcement of the Johannes Mehserle sentencing. Photo by Nicole Jones.

Oakland’s streets are quiet again. Peaceful protests turned into a night of vandalism Friday after the announcement of a two-year sentence for former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. Police officials said 152 people were arrested after protesters at a peaceful rally in Frank Ogawa Plaza stormed the streets of Oakland Friday night. Protesters marched through…

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cops

Oakland North reporters Nicole Jones and Teresa Chin have been following tonight’s Johannes Mehserle sentencing protests. From the site of the first arrests, they filed these video reports.

A peaceful protest at Frank Ogawa Plaza turned ugly after the gathering was forced to break up at 6 p.m. Police estimated 300 to 500 protesters moved into the streets of downtown, where they blocked traffic and jumped on moving vehicles. For the full story, click here.

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Protestors at night

Updated 8:54 p.m.: Police have begun arresting protesters who have been wandering raucously around Oakland in response to the announcement of the Johannes Mehserle sentencing. Oakland Police spokesperson Jeff Thomason estimated that more than 100 protesters have been arrested.

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