Oakland police want to make sure they're prepared for anything when the verdict is read in the Johannes Mehserle murder trial. Cops are distributing a community bulletin advising residents how to respond to potential fallout from the Johannes Mehserle murder defense case.
A verdict in the case of the former BART police officer, who fatally shot 22-year-old Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART Station on Jan. 1, 2009, could be announced soon, and police are concerned demonstrations will break out regardless of the outcome.
"We are dedicated to ensuring the safe expressions of emotions during this difficult time," Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said in a statement. "We are asking for the community to come together, look out for one another, and stay safe."
The Police Department is advising residents to pay attention to the trial and, if possible, to park cars in a secure location the day the verdict is announced. Residents are also asked to remove or secure large trash receptacles that day.
Police are asking residents to report vandalism and violence by calling 911 or dialing 510-777-3211 on a cell phone. Suspicious activity can be reported at the department's non-emergency number, 510-777-3333. Civil disobedience and protests can be reported at 510-777-8814. Police will also post regular updates at the city's website after the verdict is announced.
Residents can sign up for email alerts by clicking on "Email Updates" and then "emergency alerts" on the city's homepage. Updates will also be posted on the Police Department's Twitter account, @oaklandpoliceca.