"We Are All Oscar Grant. The Whole Damn System is Guilty"

By Jessica Greene and Olsen Ebright
|  Monday, Jan 11, 2010  |  Updated 5:15 AM PDT
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The uncle of Oscar Grant, Cephus Johnson, answers questions outside the trial of Johannes Mehserle.

The uncle of Oscar Grant, Cephus Johnson, answers questions outside the trial of Johannes Mehserle.

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Protestors Gather Outside Trial (RAW)

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You can take the trial out of the Bay Area, but you can't take the Bay Area out of the trial.

About 50 protesters, armed with drums and anger, rallied outside a Los Angeles courthouse Friday, where the pretrial of Johannes Mehserle was being held.

Mehserle, 27, is charged with murder for the shooting death of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man, on the platform of the Fruitvale station shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2009. Mehserle and other officers were responding to reports that there was a fight on a train.

"Today we demand justice for all the people that suffer in the hands of the justice," shouted one woman.

Protesters brought signs such as "Stop police," "No more stolen lives" and "We are all Oscar Grant. The whole damn system is guilty."

The judge ruled on Friday that no cameras would be allowed in the trial.

Mehserle's lawyer has admitted that his client shot and killed Grant but claims that the shooting was accidental because Mehserle meant to use his Taser stun gun on Grant but fired his gun by mistake. Mehserle has pleaded not guilty and is free on $3 million bail.

Court officials have said that Mehserle's trial may not start until the end of this year but it's also possible that it could start this summer if a courtroom is available. The trial will be held in the same courthouse where O.J Simpson was acquitted for murder.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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