Participants in the July 19, Walnut Creek “rally ,“ organized by supporters of former Bay Area Rapid Transit (“BART”) policeman Johannes Mehserle, were outnumbered and outshouted by participants in the demonstration opposing the rally. Mr. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on July 8, in the shooting death of Oscar Grant, III in the early morning hours of January 1, 2009.
The rally, scheduled to begin at 2:00 Monday afternoon, in the parking lot of the Contra Costa County Superior Courthouse, was estimated in advance to be attended by about 200 supporters. The estimate fell far short. At 1:30 p.m., a half hour before the rally was to begin, participant level was at approximately 30. The crowd gradually grew over the next hour, to, maybe 50.
A demonstration in opposition to the Mehserle rally had begun to take place by 1:30 p.m., well in advance of the pro-Mehserle rally. Sign-carrying, chanting participants in that demonstration numbered about forty, gathered on the sidewalk and wall in front of the courthouse. Several vehicles passing on Ygnacio Valley Road, honked their horns in support.
There were a dozen officers from the Walnut Creek Police Department (“WCPD”) and the Contra Costa County Sheriff, standing on the cordoned-off parking lot. These included three on the courthouse roof, one with a video camera. Read more