Groups Call for Nonviolent Reaction to Mehserle Verdict

By Jessica Greene
|  Friday, Jul 2, 2010  |  Updated 9:23 AM PDT
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Groups Call for Peace in Oakland

NBC Bay Area

Oscar Grant, 22, who was unarmed, was shot and killed by former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle after Mehserle and other officers responded to reports that there was a fight on a BART train.

Closing arguments in the Johannes Mehserle murder trial are expected to wrap up today in a Los Angeles courtroom and he jury will begin deliberating the fate of the former BART officer.

There's an immense push by community members and activists for calm in Oakland when the verdict is announced. A local youth group put a public service announcement together with the message that violence is not justice.

The ad by East Oakland-based "Youth Uprising" showcases Oakland teachers, police and youth. There's also a message from San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

Organizers say their doors will be open for peaceful protest after the verdict.

Transit officials say they are ready for whatever happens after the verdict is read.

BART leaders say they will keep the trains moving, but will block anyone from boarding who intends to cause trouble. Wooden boards were placed in front of the windows at the Fruitvale station, where Grant was shot and killed that New Year's Eve.

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