East Bay News
Oakland residents clean up after night of protests
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Residents of Oakland were cleaning up Saturday after a night of vandalism and over 150 arrests.
The protests followed Friday's sentencing of the former BART officer who killed Oscar Grant. Johannes Meserle's 2-year prison sentence is still an open wound for the victim's family and On Saturday afternoon, Grant's family helding a meeting to express their thoughts about the sentence.
Grant's family knows it is important to reach out to the community, especially in light of what happened Friday night.
"No justice, no peace," crowds chanted.
It was a rallying cry that got attention. Just minutes after a peaceful event honoring Oscar Grant ended at Frank Ogawa Plaza, the protests started.
Followed by the vandalism, cars were smashed, windows were broken and fences were destroyed. Hundreds filled the streets near Laney College, where police in riot gear were waiting.
A splinter group then broke off and headed toward East 18th Street and that is where the massive police crackdown happened. Police arrested 152 people, most for unlawful assembly.
Enrique Ramos was one of them. He was released from jail Saturday.
"I walked out to the street and people were already rioting and that's not what we wanted," he said.
Ramos insists he and many others were not the troublemakers that were jumping on parked cars and causing damage.
"It was stupid, but at the same time, people are upset," he said.
People are still upset and also tired after spending the night in jail. They accuse police of unfairly arresting them.
"We are guaranteed our right to assemble. We assembled in protest of the 2-year sentence that Mehserle got for killing an innocent human being," said Jevon Cochran.
"I was surprised because I felt like we weren't doing anything wrong. We were just marching down the streets," said Xochil Frausto.
However, that is not all that happened. Police say what eventually caused the crackdown is when a gun was ripped from an officer's gun belt. It was recovered in a crowd of protestors.
"You have a right to protest. You have a right to have freedom of speech. You have a right to voice your opinion and your discontent. You do not have a right to tear this city up," said Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts.
Those who live on 5th Avenue, where much of the damage occurred, could not agree more.
"They are crazy. They pass by and see any car and they broke the window of car completely. They hurt a lot of innocent people," recalled one Oakland resident.
Police say more arrests and charges may come. They are reviewing photos and video of the vandals. Investigators then want to track those people down.
johannes mehserle, oscar grant, BART, oakland, protest, east bay news, lisa amin gulezian
- Search on for man who went missing after B2B race
- Concession workers launch one-day strike at AT&T
- Gay soccer player Robbie Rogers joins LA Galaxy
- Santa Cruz police arrest crime plot mastermind
- UK police arrest 3 more men in soldier's slaying 13 min ago
- PG&E disputes record fine for San Bruno blast
- Scouts honor veterans at annual Memorial Day event
- Police position DUI checkpoints in unsuspecting areas
- Quick, long-term fixes in works for Washington bridge 46 min ago
- Protesters to march vs Monsanto in 250 cities 31 min ago
- Limos without valid permits listed on airport website
- abcnews: How to stay safe at amusement parks 27 min ago
- roundup: Machete murder; PG&E fights fine
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Saturday 29 min ago
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed VideoMost Viewed Photos