Supporters of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle rallied in Walnut Creek this afternoon, eleven days after protests and violence erupted in Oakland July 8, when Mehserle was convicted July 8 of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting unarmed Oscar Grant on New Year's Day 2009 on a BART platform in Oakland.
The rally occurred outside the Superior Courthouse in Walnut Creek on Ygnacio Valley Road.
Witnesses say the supporters were outnumbered by the cops and the paparazzi, and outnumbered and outvoiced by the “Justice for Oscar Grant” counterdemonstrators by about 2:1.
"While helicopters whirled overhead and riot police stood by, counterdemonstrators chanted 'Justice for Oscar Grant' and 'Oscar did not have to die – we all know the reason why.'" a witness told the Guardian. "They flanked the Mehserle supporters, who stood mostly silent, holding up signs like 'Understanding will permit healing' and 'Thank you for keeping my streets safe.' There was no sign of open antagonism between the camps, although a bystander reported that words were exchanged initially and things were about to get heated when the police closed ranks and made it clear they would shut the whole thing down."