Protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer turned violent Wednesday night with windows broken, fires set and train stations closed. A few hundred protesters took the streets of downtown Oakland to condemn the shooting and call for criminal charges against 27-year-old officer Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle resigned from the transit agency shortly before he was supposed to be interviewed by investigators Wednesday. Mehserle is accused of shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant of Hayward, who was lying face-down on the station platform when he was shot and killed early New Year’s Day. Mehserle was one of several officers responding to reports about groups of men fighting on a train, reports The Associated Press.
Protesters gathered in the afternoon at the Fruitvale BART station where the shooting occurred. It was peaceful at first but began to turn nasty after a splinter group left that site and marched downtown. Protesters set fire to a trash container and tried to overturn a police car, smashing the front window. Police attempted to disperse the crowd and smaller groups of protesters marched to different areas. Some protesters threw bottles, a window of a fast-food restaurant and other downtown stores were smashed and a car was set on fire during the rampage. Police in riot gear threw tear gas to try to break up the demonstration. Oakland police reported at least 15 arrests.
In this new year let’s try to demolish these injustices that are so frequent to minorities via police brutality.
Pictures of the demand for justice below…