Remember how we all thought Oakland was going to burn the night Johannes Mehserle got convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Oscar Grant? And the press got super excited and all that happened was a bunch of fools vandalized Sears, lit some trash cans on fire, and looted a Foot Locker? Well, Oakland City Attorney John Russo now wants to send a message to the people who vandalized and stole shit that night, and the city is suing four of the 78 people arrested that night. Two of them were caught spray-painting city property, and two were caught with jewelry in their pockets after they (and roughly 200 others) stormed into JC Jewelry Gold Teeth Master on Broadway.
"It's one thing to protest peacefully and angrily," Russo tells the Chron. "It's another thing to use the death of a young man to set fires, loot mom-and-pop businesses and lash out in childish ways." Says the manager of the gold teeth store, who was punched in the face that night while trying to fend off the looters, "It was like a robbery. They used that protest as an excuse."
Mehserle, btw, is due to be sentenced next week.