Oakland remains calm as Johannes Mehserle is freed 

Store windows in Oakland were boarded up Monday in anticipation of unrest following the release of ex-BART cop Officer Johannes Mehserle from jail.

But protests in Oakland involving about 300 people on Sunday were peaceful. Mehserle left Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail at about midnight.

The 29-year-old served 11 months of a two year sentence for shooting Oscar Grant III, 22, in the back as he lay face down on the platform at Fruitvale BART station on New Year’s Day 2009. He was convicted last year of involuntary manslaughter.

The killing of the unarmed black man by the white Mesherle spurred protests — some violent — in Oakland.

Following Mehserle’s sentencing last year, some of those involved in a protest became violent — looting, setting fires and causing mayhem for hours.

There were peaceful protests in Oakland on Sunday. Organizers continuously asked for calm as the crowd and emotions increased.

Grant supporters in Los Angeles on Monday plan to march to the U.S. Attorney’s office and demand that the Department of Justice look into possible federal civil rights violation.

A civil lawsuit against Mehserle and several other officers involved with Grant’s shooting is still pending.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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