Oakland, Ca., is bracing for possible violence as the case of a transit officer who shot a man to death last year goes to a jury today, reports the Oakland Tribune. Ex-Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle, 28, is accused of killing Oscar Grant III. The Bay Area Council called on police departments from the region’s nine largest cities to provide aid to Oakland in the event of unrest after the verdict.
Oakland officials warned against “outside agitators” stoking tempers and listed places to “cool off and express yourself in positive ways” on the city website, www.oaklandnet.com. “If a ‘not guilty’ verdict comes down in the Mehserle-Oscar Grant murder trial, we know many young people will feel a sense of outrage, anger and injustice. Let’s not let these agitators make a bad situation worse,” the message reads. Still, a flier stuck to a garbage can reads, “Day of Mehserle’s Verdict 6 p.m.: City Hall. Be there.” Another sticker is printed with “He says Tazer. We say Murder.”