Violence After Sentence in Oakland Killing
Jesse McKinley and Malia Wollan, New York Times | November 5, 2010

OAKLAND — Protesters vandalized storefronts and clashed with the police here on Friday night after a white former transit police officer was given what they considered to be a light sentence for the killing an unarmed black man. But protests initially seemed less violent than others that have surrounded the controversial case.

The authorities said one officer was hit by a car — perhaps by a police vehicle — and another officer’s gun was stolen and turned on him. That protester was arrested, Police Chief Anthony W. Batts said, and a police spokesman said 152 people had been arrested.  “You have a very aggressive crowd,” Chief Batts said.

The demonstrations started after Judge Robert Perry of Superior Court in Los Angeles sentenced the former officer, Johannes Mehserle, to two years in state prison. But the judge dismissed a component of the charges that would have led to more prison time.

With time already served, Mr. Mehserle could be released from prison as early as next year. He was convicted in July of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Oscar Grant III, who was shot while lying face down on New Year’s Day 2009. He had been removed from a Bay Area Rapid Transit train after a fight, and Mr. Mehserle said that he had mistaken his gun for a Taser. He was acquitted of the more serious charge of second-degree murder.  (Read the full article)