Oakland riots, will they or won't they happen? Johannes Mehserle, the BART cop accused of killing Oscar Grant at the Frutivale station, could face 2nd degree murder (15 years - life), voluntary manslaughter (3 - 11 years), involuntary manslaughter (2 - 4 years), or acquittal. If the latter verdict is read in court, the city of Oakland could explode to bits. Or not.
Here's a brief rundown on the latest Mehserle verdict news.
SF Appeal mentions that BART is prepping for the worst care scenario:
BART is also preparing for the worst. Service disruptions are likely if public reaction reaches levels similar to the previous riot. In a statement released by BART Board President James Fang (you can read the whole thing here), he says BART is calling "for calm and peaceful response to the upcoming verdict in the Johannes Mehserle trial" noting that "neither, BART, the City of Oakland, its residents or its businesses have control over the outcome of the People versus Mehserle trial."
Nearly everyone in the Bay Area agrees that a major Oakland riot is brewing if the verdict in the trial of policeman Johannes Mehserle, accused of murdering BART passenger Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day, 2009, comes back anything other than “GUILTY!” The problem for Oakland’s sense of security is that Mehserle is almost certainly not guilty of murder, and the jury is likely to give him a comparatively light sentence or even let him go completely.
Some Oakland stores have plastered their storefronts with Oscar Grant posters in an effort to steer possible rioters elsewhere, according to KRON 4.
California Beat reports that many businesses near the Fruitvale BART station boarded up their windows with plywood today. What's more, speaking on behalf of the entire family, Oscar Grant’s uncle, Cephus Johnson, said, "We know people are tired of police brutality. We know they’re tired of people consistently dying and the police continuing to walk. But we as a family stand for nonviolence."