By Ryan Hunt When the verdict for the Johannes Mehserle trial was read on July 8, 2010, I was in a Critical Thinking class at Laney Community College in Oakland, CA, the city where BART officer Mehserle shot an unarmed black resident, Oscar Grant. The announcement came through the school’s emergency response system and my class was cut short. The college advised students to make plans to get out of downtown Oakland. The involuntary manslaughter verdict was released and protesters took to the streets, which later resulted in vandalism and looting.
Oakland, CA: Last Thursday, July 8, former BART transit officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the Jan. 1, 2009 death of Oscar Grant, an unarmed young African American man. As feared, that night saw rioting, looting, and destruction in the streets of downtown Oakland. And that's where the local media trained their cameras.