83 arrested in Oakland mayhem 

BART service was running normally as of 5 a.m. Friday, with all stations open and no delays reported, and highways were also operating smoothly the morning after protests turned violent in Oakland, authorities said.

The streets of Oakland were calm Friday morning but authorities are on guard for any further flare-ups following the chaos that resulted in smashed windows, looting, trash fires, graffiti and other mayhem. Police say 83 people were arrested.

The outrage was in response to the involuntary manslaughter verdict Thursday of former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who fatally shot an unarmed passenger New Year’s Day 2009. The protest was peaceful until the gathering was declared unlawful at 8:30 p.m.

The unrest lasted into the night, with protesters damaging several storefronts along Broadway between 12th and 20th streets — and banks were hit hard, according to reports. There was looting, smashed windows, graffiti and busted doorways. A Whole Foods Market was vandalized around 11:15 p.m.

The streets had mostly cleared of protesters by 1 a.m., police reported.

The protest affected San Francisco businesses, as well, as many allowed employees to leave before the verdict was announced at 4 p.m.

Police and other assisting agencies are still pouring resources into ensuring the streets remain calm Friday, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Trent Cross said. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for the CHP to assist Oakland police.

“We want to continue to maintain a strong visual presence,” Cross said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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