The organizer remains anonymous, but Walnut Creek police confirmed someone officially applied for a permit to hold a rally at the courthouse. Over the weekend the organizers, still remaining publicly silent, released the following statement: Contrary to what has been portrayed in the media, this rally is not about dividing communities, inciding a race war or a political debate.
"This has been a tragic incident for all sides. We are just hoping that these folks get a chance to express themselves in a peaceful, quiet manner," Walnut Creek Mayor Sue Rainey said Saturday.
On Facebook the rally is called, "In Support of Johannes Mehserle and L.E.O. (law enforcement officers) Rally." It is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the parking lot of the Walnut Creek courthouse at 640 Ygnacio Valley Road. It goes on to say the event is meant "to show our support for Johannes, his family, and our law enforcement officers. This was a tragic mistake that occurred while on active duty."
Mehserle admitted in court that Mehserle shot and killed Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward resident, but said the shooting was accidental. He claimed he meant to use his Taser on Grant, but fired his service weapon by mistake.
The Facebook group says, "Enough is enough. It's time to stop throwing our officers under the bus. It's time to step up and support Johannes and our officers and take a stand."
Last week, Walnut Creek police Chief Joel Bryden said his police department has plans in place to ensure that the rally remains peaceful. No one knows how many people will turn out. Bryden said he did not know why the person choose to hold the event in Walnut Creek. He said, "In cases like this we plan for the worst and hope for the best."
The Facebook page for Monday's rally says, "This rally is NOT about inciting violence, destruction, intolerance, hatred, racism, riots or to upset the Grant family...People who support law enforcement and Johannes have just as much right to rally together with other believers to have their voices heard and support one another."
During pro-Oscar Grant protests in Oakland the night of the verdict, 78 people were arrested and several businesses were damaged and looted.