Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums urged residents to remain calm after protests turned violent after the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a transit police officer, reports the Associated Press. What started yesterday as a peaceful demonstration over the Jan. 1 shooting of Oscar Grant escalated. At least three cars were set on fire, many other automobiles were damaged, and windows were broken in downtown stores.
Police in riot gear used tear gas to try to break up the demonstration. At least 14 people were arrested before the unrest ebbed overnight. Grant, 22, was killed on a Bay Area Rapid Transit station platform after officers responded to reports of groups of men fighting on a train. He was one of a small group of men taken off the train, and officers had made him lie face down at the time he was killed. The shooting and events leading up to it were captured on amateur videos that have been broadcast on television. Officer Johannes Mehserle resigned from the transit agency shortly before he was supposed to be interviewed by investigators yesterday.