Scores arrested in Oakland protests over BART officer Mehserle

Oscar Grant mural at 17th Street and Broadway in Oakland

Protests continue since a Los Angeles judge sentenced 28-year-old Johannes Mehserle, a former BART transit officer, to two years in prison for fatally shooting an unarmed Oscar Grant, 22, in the back on an Oakland train platform. Mehserle claimed he had mistakenly fired his gun when he had meant to reach for his Taser.

From the LA Times blog:

As many as 150 demonstrators were arrested in Oakland during protests over the two-year prison sentence handed down to a former police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man on an Oakland train station platform on New Year’s Day 2009.

A four-hour peaceful demonstration at Oakland City Hall moved into the surrounding streets and took on a more aggressive tone Friday evening with marchers smashing windshields, making obscene gestures at surrounding police and noisily shouting slogans.

Police in riot gear allowed several hundred marchers to move through the streets for about an hour before encircling a smaller number of people near 6th Avenue and East 17th Street. Demonstrators left a trail of broken windshields as they moved down 17th Street, angering some residents.

The racially-charged shooting, which has sparked public outrage, was captured by many on cell phones and video cameras.

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