Race Relations

Oakland Police Survey Riot Damage

Police surveyed the extensive damage in downtown Oakland Friday morning after hundreds of people took to the streets Thursday night following a lenient verdict in the case of Johannes Mehserle, a white police officer who shot an unarmed black man, 22-year-old Oscar Grant. The jury found Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum four-year prison sentence under California law. Some 800 people, protesting what they believe is a light punishment, spilled into the streets. The largely peaceful protest turned ugly after 8:30 p.m. EST after most demonstrators went home: Looters broke storefront glass, looted merchandise, tagged walls with graffiti, and set trash cans ablaze. According to police, at least 80 were arrested. Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts said that around 100 people are to blame for the damage, describing them as “anarchists."