Pro-Mehserle rally breaks out in Walnut Creek

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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."

Comments

Why didn't the Walnut Creek police separate the two sides to separate corners of the parking lot? It looks like the Grant nutcases were allowed to be right next to the Mehserle supporters. So much for free speech for Johannes Mehserle. Once again, the Grant folks were allowed to intimidate and threaten anyone who disagrees with them. Are you listening, Judge Perry? How many bomb threats did YOU and the jury receive? Did that influence your thinking at all? How about the nightly threat of violence from the street corner mobs in Oakland and LA? Nothing like a gag order to keep a jury pool from being tainted. This whole trial was a farce from the beginning. Nothing but Race Politics, and Johannes Mehserle is paying the price.

Posted by Mel on Jul. 19, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

Mel...Grant was killed face down on the ground...subtract the fact that the officer was white and the victim was black...at very least this was criminal negligence and it did not need to happen. Who in their right mind would come out and support this? It's disgusting and every one of those supporters should be ashamed of themselves. No matter what fantasy world you live in, Mehserle killed a man face down on the ground...Race Politics...you are a joke.

Posted by Guest Bryce on Jul. 20, 2010 @ 9:05 am

Half hour to an hour before the event started, I went to BK on Broadway and saw 2 Concord PD order takeout for lunch. It was odd because Walnut Creek is out of their jurisdiction.

I was in the event but when I got there around 3:50 4:00 it was pretty quite. I had asked a San Ramon PO some questions and told me it has been pretty quite, and nothing has happened but standing around controlling the crowd, blocking traffic, and wasting Walnut Creek Tax Payer Money $1,000,000 in OT and Police Services from Concord, San Ramon, and other near by Police representatives.

When I asked the PO about his opinions about this whole thing, he said that he will not express his opinions as an on duty Police Officer because he is supposed to be neutral to all those things. But the way he sounded with all my questions as well as the way he answered his opinion, he may be Pro Mehserle.

I went out to support the Police but could not decipher which group is which. Infact I thought that all anti Mehserle were at the court house, and Pro-Mehserle were at Valero. I was wrong! The reason why I could not decipher the two was because the Pro Mehserle signs were to small to read from a distance whilst the anti Mehserle signs were all so big and one can not tell them apart.

However, according to a chat conducted by Bay Area News Group, anti Mehserle were predominately young Blacks, some young Caucasians, and some Latinos.

In that chat, I had to ask how all this started. I got a response as

Oscar Grant was drunk in Fruitville BART with disorderly conduct, and fighting. That was the reason why the BART PD was called into the scene because passengers were afraid for their safety. Had Oscar Grant not been drunk, and fighting, none of this would have happened. But unfortunately, Mehserle was improperly trained in determining the difference of a Tazer or a Gun, and accidentally shot him in the back face down.

Because of this Mehserle may face a sentence for 5 years to 14 years to life in prison. Although I do not agree that Mehserle should get away without any responsibility, he does not need to be serving life in prison because as a Police Officer, Mehserle is already putting his life on the line every time he puts on his uniform, and kisses his family goodbye not knowing if he'll ever be returning back home.

Although everyone has the rights to protest through the First Amendment of Freedom of Speech, I do not believe this rally/ protest was very effective on both sides especially Pro because they were out voiced, but most importantly, there were more Police and city worker presence than that of protesters. There weren't even a whole lot of bystanders across from the court house. This event not only cost Walnut Creek some $1,000,000 in tax payer money, but it also caused headaches for drivers as North Broadway at DMV was closed as well as Parts of Ygnacio Valley Road between Broadway & Civic.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

You all sound so ignorant.
None of you even know the facts of the case
You obviously need to do your research.
Mostly Colored people were there because they are the ones being killed by police officers or all races. Statistics show that they are
Geez just go up to any one of them and ask them
The government and the system is all backwards.

I'm not surprised in Walnut Creek either. I used to live there and i am of color and let me tell you they ain't nothing nice, I must admit I felt lots of racial tension wherever i went until I pulled out those big face bills they they all change their tune.

People are so funny

Justice for Oscar Grant and all victims of Police brutality
The police is the largest gang in America

I haven't seen them do much good as I have evil

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

" There was no sign of open antagonism between the camps, . . ."
This quote is from the original article above. It is not accurate. I noticed
several signs, some duplicates, which are antagonistic, with the following statements:

- Jail Cop Killers
- Pigs are boring F**k 'em
- KKKiller KKKops
- Every cop a killer, every supporter an accomplice
- All cops are bastards
- F**k murderous police and their suppporters
- Grant murdered in cold blood

The conduct of the pro Mehserle crowd was restrained in the face of
the bad conduct by the others.

Posted by Guest rpd on Jul. 20, 2010 @ 7:55 am

Why were the police called to begin with? I read vague references to a fight but there were never any details. I realize that an unarmed person rarely if ever deserves to be shot, and an accidental shooting, particularly by a professional police officer, is gross negligence at the very least.

The reason I ask is I read one report that the fight involved a sexual assault on a "white girl".

I can see why no one would want to write about that if true. But if it were true it could have established motive for murder on the part of the officer.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 20, 2010 @ 8:39 am

I would say that signs calling for killers to be jailed and stating that Oscar grant was murdered are just statements of fact. Open antagonism perhaps, but not without reason, and certainly nothing constituting "bad conduct."

It's thoroughly disgusting that cops who are supposed to uphold the law are organizing a rally to support a killer. Like the officers who wore "Free Dan White" T-shirts under their uniforms, these actions validate the view that cops don't give a damn about ordinary people's lives. The only difference is that now they're saying it openly.

And BTW, has anyone wondered why they're doing it in Walnut Creek? Rumor has it that it's not just that Walnut Creek is more right-wing, and therefore more receptive to people rallying for killer cops. The other reason may be that Walnut Creek is more convenient for the officers -i.e., a lot of them live there, rather than in the communities they patrol. While the media made a big deal about irrelevant police-produced statistics claiming to show that many Oakland protesters didn't live in Oakland, no one has bothered to ask how many of the arresting officers live in Oakland.

Posted by Greg on Jul. 20, 2010 @ 12:39 pm