WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (AP) _ A rally in support of the former transit police officer convicted of killing an unarmed man took place in Walnut Creek, and the gathering drew  just as many opponents.

About three dozen supporters of Johannes Mehserle gathered outside the courthouse Monday afternoon. On the other side of metal barriers supporters of Mehserle’s victim, Oscar Grant convened.

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The protest was peaceful, though police say they were prepared for possible clashes. The shouting between the two sides was vicious, but there were not any reports of people coming into contact with each other.

The courthouse closed Monday afternoon as a precaution.

It’s an unusual public show of support for Mehserle, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting Grant in an Oakland train station in 2009. Organizers say they believe the shooting was accidental and that the verdict was fair.

Comments (8)
  1. James K Polk says:

    I think officer Mehserle snapped when he committed his cime. I don’t believe there was any conspiracy by him or by the BART police to deprive Oscar Grant of his civil rights. And I think that people who make these accusations are just evil opportunists who are trying to use this tragedy to promote their own agendas.

  2. Al Galaviz says:

    These people show out of touch with reality they are, now try having the same protest in Oakland by the Bart Station where where Grant was killed.

  3. Zack Debarco says:

    To deny anyone the right to have a vigil/protest is unamerican.
    It doesn’t matter whether it is in good taste or “disrespectful”.
    This is the USA where everyone gets a voice. I think the
    By Any Means Neccessary folks who want to deny these folks their rights are being hypocritcal. BAMN is a Marxist group that doen’t care about everyone elses civil rights.

  4. Lulu says:

    I really think he’s NOT guilty. It was an accident.

  5. Pete says:

    I support Mr. Mehersle while realizing that a young man’s life is forever gone. I send my deep condolences to Oscar Grant’s family and pray that his soul me rest in peace in God’s beautiful Paradise. May you Johannes know that as you have surely asked God’s forgiveness that you have been forgiven by Him.

  6. Jaya Santhan Tony says:

    I am glad I got to hear about the protests that did not end in violence. However, I certainly hope that in showing this much class, justice still must be served. If the largely African American Oscar supporters are open minded to peaceful protests and if the other side truly believes Johannes Mehserle is sorry I don’t understand why no reparation is being done. If I am truly sorry for something (even if it is an accident) I would do reparation. In this case, Oscar’s young child needs a scholarship so she knows that despite losing her father she has something to aspire to… A request for mercy is not lame it needs reparation or it is just bogus to have a lighter sentence….yes, I do believe the weight difference between a tazer and a gun will tell an officer what is being pulled out….Justice is colorblind but not stupid.

  7. MikeD says:

    I believe J. Mehserle is not guilty of any crime and that he is being persecuted because some in society want to use him to vent their frustrations. He should not serve one day.

  8. Tom Wisner says:

    See…this is the difference between Walnut Creek and Oakland…Oakland protesters loot the Foot Locker…Walnut Creek protests stay civil and peaceful. Nuff said…

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