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Oakland Youth Were Prepared for Verdict

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS)- Police and community leaders are now saying the key to keeping a lid on Oakland after the Johannes Mehserle verdict was preparation. 

Howard Pinderhughes a UCSF Associate Professor of Sociology says that commitment was born in many pre-verdict discussions about what might happen and how to handle it.

“There was a very real commitment on the part of Oakland youth.  What we saw were young people who were engaged in peaceful and legitimate protests trying to get their frustration and anger out,” said Pinderhughes.

One lesson learned this week is and was especially effective with young people, who were allowed to speak out.

Click to listen

Unlike after the killing of Oscar Grant, when protesters took to the streets without positive planning, this time a stage was set up where young people made impassioned speeches.

Pinderhughes said some of the issues in the speeches included, police brutality, police-community relations, and racial injustice in Oakland.

What trouble there was, Pinderhughes says came after the plug was pulled on that and brought in primarily by outsiders.

One big lesson a lot of community problems and fears could be resolved by seeking out and listening to youth.

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