Oakland officials hit the streets of their city this weekend to assess the damage to the community resulting from protests that started after former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for fatally shooting Oscar Grant III.
Police said 152 arrests were made during the protests, mostly for unlawful assembly. More than a third of those arrested live outside of Oakland.
The majority of those arrested were in their 20s and 30s, Officer Jeff Thomason said. Charges will be filed after a report is completed by investigators who are reviewing photographs and video of the protesters.
The protesters began gathering shortly after a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge sentenced Mehserle to a two-year prison sentence Friday afternoon for fatally shooting a 22-year-old unarmed father. Mehserle could have faced anything from probation to 14 years in state prison.
Following the sentencing, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said he understood the community's angry reactions to Mehserle's prison sentence for shooting Grant at the Fruitvale BART station in 2009, but he called for nonviolent protest.
Mehserle said he mistakenly used his gun instead of his Taser.
Community & Economic Development Agency employees were canvassing impacted businesses Saturday. They identified one business that had broken windows, according to city of Oakland officials. A few businesses were vandalized with graffiti.
The demonstrations followed the ruling Friday by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry to sentence Mehserle to two years in state prison for involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Grant, who was an unarmed passenger.
The sentencing came after a jury convicted Mehserle last July 8 of involuntary manslaughter, with a gun enhancement in the shooting death of Grant at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009.
Mehserle will get credit for the 292 days he's already spent behind bars since the shooting. He could have faced anything from probation up to 14 years in state prison.
Mehserle, 28, resigned from BART a week after he shot Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man. The former officer says he mistakenly used his gun instead of his Taser.
According to CNN, Mehserle told the judge before sentencing Friday that he would be willing to go to prison if the sentence made his city and family safer.
"I shot a man," he said. "I killed a man. It should not have happened," the CNN report stated.
Before the sentencing, the judge first ruled on a motion by Mehserle's lawyer, Michael Rains, asking that Mehserle be granted a new trial. That motion was denied.
The trial was moved to Los Angeles due to concerns about the extensive media coverage in the Bay Area.
In Oakland Friday, Talia Jefferson, an attorney with www.iamoscargrant.org, which is a website voicing beliefs about unnecessary police brutality, said: "Two years is not enough. It's a step forward. But it's not enough."
"We will continue to build and to organize until the state understands that we will not lie down silently as they murder the people in cold blood," attorney Ann Weills said on the website.
After Friday's sentencing, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley said she disagreed with Judge Perry's decision to dismiss the prosecutor's argument and the jury's finding of the intentional use of a firearm enhancement.
"Prosecutors presented Judge Perry with legal briefs and arguments advocating that Judge Perry not dismiss or overturn the jury's finding that the defendant Mehserle intentionally used a firearm in the commission of the killing," O'Malley said.
"Since (Mehserle) was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter as well as the intentional use of a firearm, the (prosecutor) urged that the defendant be sentenced accordingly.
"In stating his decision, Judge Perry acknowledged that his rulings are appealable," O'Malley added. "The Alameda County District Attorney's will now evaluate all legal options."
"It is the sincere hope of the District Attorney's Office that our community can continue to build on our strength and our commitment to equal justice so that this tragedy will never be repeated. The District Attorney's Office, along with law enforcement partners, community leaders and community partners, will foster the dialogue that strives for peace and non-violence."