Group to Hold Protest in Favor of Mehserle Next Week

As far as bad ideas go, planning a rally in support of former BART cop Johannes Mehserle seems to be high on the list. Especially after general unrest followed last Thursday’s verdict of involuntary manslaughter.

A Facebook page planning a demonstration in support of Mehserle and law enforcement was reported earlier today by the blog Claycord. According to the group, the event is planned for July 19 on the steps of the Walnut Creek Courthouse.

Organizers urge the event will be peaceful and not meant to incite violence or disrespect the family of Oscar Grant, who was killed New Year’s Day 2009 by Mehersle on the platform of the Fruitvale BART Station. They group believes their opinions on the case also need to be heard.

“People who support law enforcement and Johannes have just as much right to rally together with other believers to have their voices heard and support one another,” the message on Facebook reads.

Such a rally poses the potential for conflict after a series of protest in downtown Oakland and the perception the case forged an even wider split between African Americans and law enforcement and, by extension, whites and blacks.

-STEVEN TAVARES
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