OAKLAND (BCN) — About 30 people gathered in front of the Alameda County Administration Building in Oakland Tuesday evening to protest the fatal shooting of barbershop owner Derrick Jones by two Oakland police officers on Nov. 8.
Protesters then marched to Oakland City Hall.
They had planned to speak at the Oakland City Council meeting that had been scheduled for tonight but the meeting was postponed.
Oakland police said the two officers shot Jones, 37, after they responded to a report that he was assaulting a woman at a laundromat next to his barbershop in the 5800 block of Bancroft Avenue.
Police said Jones refused repeated orders to surrender and was reaching into his waistband, which the officers thought indicated that he was reaching a gun. But no weapon was found at the scene.
Yvette Felarca of the civil rights group By Any Means Necessary, which organized the rally, addressed the protesters Tuesday evening.
“We need to be the communicators of the truth of what happened to Derrick Jones,” she said.
“We need to cut through the lies and slander of Oakland police and other authorities who want to justify the criminal actions the officers undertook,” Felarca said.
Felarca and other protesters also spoke out against a bid by former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle to be granted bail while he appeals his involuntary manslaughter conviction for fatally shooting unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III at the Fruitvale station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry is slated to consider Mehserle’s bail motion at a hearing on Friday.
Felarca told people at the rally to “check your e-mails and text messages on Friday” to see if Perry releases Mehserle.
She said that if Mehserle is freed, “We’ve got to have some kind of a fight. We can’t let that happen.”
There were several rallies near Jones’ barbershop and the Fruitvale BART station after he was shot and killed, but the protest tonight is the first that’s been held in downtown Oakland.
“We want downtown to see us, and they will,” Felarca said.
She said By Any Means Necessary plans to organize another rally next Tuesday and have protesters speak at the City Council meeting that’s scheduled for that day.
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