|Police responding to protesters in Oakland upset over the two year sentence handed down to transit cop Johannes Mehserle, who shot and killed an unarmed transit rider, Oscar Grant, last year: Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle|
(11-05) 20:30 PDT OAKLAND -- More than 100 protesters angered by the two-year sentence handed down to former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle were arrested Friday night after marching from downtown Oakland into a residential area south of Lake Merritt, where mobs smashed about a dozen car windshields and a police officer's gun was snatched.
The marchers headed out of downtown after a peaceful rally outside City Hall, where as many as 500 people sang songs and heard speeches denouncing the sentence Mehserle received earlier in the day for the fatal shooting of unarmed BART rider Oscar Grant.
About 200 demonstrators surged into the streets as darkness fell, marching southeast to Sixth Avenue in East Oakland, where police corralled the main group.
Several in the crowd said they had been headed to the Fruitvale BART Station, where Mehserle shot Grant early on Jan. 1, 2009. As word of the destination spread, BART officials closed the station, allowing trains to go through but not to stop.
Police penned in the marchers about a mile from the station.
Dozens of other officers stayed downtown to guard against a repeat of the looting that broke out July 8 after Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and acquitted of murder.
(Click here to read the full story on the San Francisco Chronicle website.)