Police call for calm following Mehserle sentencing

TMOBILE boarding

Store owners boarded up windows and residents gathered in front of City Hall as news of a sentence in the Johannes Mehserle trial began to spread across Oakland Friday afternoon. The two-year sentence handed-down by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry is the lightest possible prison term for Mehserle’s conviction of involuntary manslaughter. Many Oakland residents were hoping for the maximum 14-year term while others wonder how Oakland will react as the day develops.

Read More

Mehserle sentenced to 2 years, including time served

Photos of Oscar Grant, who was killed on New Year's Eve 2009 by former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, adorn the store windows at DeLaurer's News Stand at the corner of 13th and Broadway. Photo by Terria Smith.

From a ninth-floor courtroom in downtown Los Angeles, Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Oscar Grant III, was sentenced this afternoon to two years in prison. The sentence, from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry, will include credit for the time Mehserle has already spent in jail.

Read More

Boarding up but still quiet, Oakland downtown awaits Mehserle news

As Oakland awaits news from the Los Angeles sentencing of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, downtown businesses are preparing today for the possibility of violence. Storefronts around Frank Ogawa Plaza are boarded up including the Oakland police Internal Affairs office, the offices of Youth Radio and the Men’s Wearhouse and Foot Locker stores nearby.

Read More

Mehserle sentencing expected Friday

This mural of Oscar Grant, who was killed last year by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, was recently removed from the corner of 17th Street and Broadway. Photo by Kevin Fixler.

Probation or prison? On Friday morning, the sentence of Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Oscar Grant III, will rest in the hands of one man, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry.

In the same downtown court building that housed the O.J. Simpson trial, Perry is expected to juggle a wide range of sentencing options ranging from parole to 14 years in California state prison.

Read More

With Mehserle sentencing approaching, peacekeepers train to avert violence

As Oakland awaits this Friday’s sentencing of Johannes Mehserle, civic leaders and residents alike are working together to keep the city’s reaction peaceful. The former BART police officer was convicted in July of involuntary manslaughter in the January, 2009, shooting death of Oscar Grant. In the wake of Grant’s death, as well as of Mehserle’s conviction this summer, protests in downtown Oakland turned violent.

Read More

Boats in McCovey Cove support Mehserle, Grant as attorney files for new trial

Mehserle's boat

As the Giants hosted the San Diego Padres on October 3, a long white banner peeked above the right field wall of AT&T Park. The sign, attached to the rigging of a yacht anchored in what Giants fans call “McCovey Cove,” did not support either team. Instead, the banner spelled out a political message in black block letters: Free Johannes Mehserle. Strung along the base of the boat was another banner listing a website, Justice4Johannes.com.

Read More

Lawyers guild investigating excessive force accusations

Wearing a white tank top spotted with blood, Susan Harman, a 69-year-old former school principal and resident of Oakland, told a crowd of reporters that she was a victim of police aggression during the protests following the July 8 Johannes Mehserle verdict. The tank top she was wearing was the same one she had on that night when, she said, while peacefully protesting she was pushed down, hit on the head with a baton and arrested.

Read More

Oakland Police Department releases photos of alleged looters

The Oakland Police Department has released photos of people allegedly looting and destroying property during the protests following last week’s verdict in the 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant. They published 15 photos on the department website in the hopes that citizens will come forward to identify those in the photos.

Read More

What prison might mean for Johannes Mehserle

Johannes Mehserle won’t be sentenced until later this year, but his involuntary manslaughter conviction could mean he faces up to 14 years in a state prison. Because the notoriety of his crime, the ex-BART police officer could be gravely at risk among other prisoners, but the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has a system to protect high-profile inmates like Mehserle.

Read More

After dark, peaceful Mehserle verdict protest turns violent

As the sun set behind City Hall and the City of Oakland’s official rally came to an end on Thursday night, a few people in black hoodies began weaving throughout the crowd, pulling bandanas up over their faces. What had been a peaceful afternoon demonstration was about to become a chaotic night during which a few violent protesters, mostly people from other cities, vandalized the downtown.

Read More

Amidst the anger, Oaklanders peacefully discuss Mehserle verdict

people sitting in chairs at Grand Lake Coffee House

On Thursday afternoon, protestors and media convened in downtown Oakland for what many feared would be a violent reaction to the verdict in the trial of former BART officer Johannes Mehserle. But following the verdict, several Oakland gathering spots offered an alternative to the mass downtown protest, where people could peacefully vent their feelings and talk about the future.

Read More

Oakland residents react to Mehserle verdict, urge peace

After hearing that former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter Thursday afternoon for the 2009 killing of Oakland resident Oscar Grant, Bay Area residents at the Rockridge BART station said they hoped the Oakland community would react to the verdict peacefully.

Read More

Verdict in Johannes Mehserle trial: Involuntary manslaughter

Updated 11:40 pm: After a day of peaceful protests, on Thursday night a small group of protesters turned violent in downtown Oakland, looting and damaging downtown businesses in the wake of the Johannes Mehserle verdict. Earlier that day, a Los Angeles jury found the former BART police officer guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the January, 2009, death of Oscar Grant.

Read More