Property damage, arrests in Oakland

July 9, 2010 at 4:33 PM
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OAKLAND, Calif., July 9 (UPI) -- About 80 people were arrested in Oakland, Calif., when protests against the verdict in a police shooting, turned violent, officials said.

Police said most of those arrested were charged with minor offenses and should be released Friday with only 12 charged with more serious felony offenses, reported. Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department said the most common charge was failing to obey police orders to disperse.

Nelson also said only 19 of those arrested had Oakland addresses, with 28 living elsewhere in the San Francisco region and 19 from elsewhere in California.

Johannes Mehserle, an officer with Bay Area Rapid Transit, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter Thursday for shooting Oscar Grant III on Jan. 1, 2009. Grant, who was not armed, was shot in the back.

Protests were mostly peaceful at first Thursday night as hundreds and then thousands of people gathered in downtown Oakland but turned violent as crowds gathered. A number of stores were looted and some protesters threw bottles, cans and other missiles at police.

City Councilman Larry Reid said the outburst "certainly is not peace or justice" for Oscar Grant III, who was shot and killed Jan. 1, 2009, on a Bay Area Rapid Transit platform.

Mayor Ron Dellums had appealed for a peaceful response after learning of the verdict, the Oakland Tribune reported. Grant's grandfather addressed a crowd earlier in the evening and asked protesters not to hurt their own city.

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