OAKLAND (AP) — Hundreds of dock workers said they plan to shut down several ports Saturday in support of the unarmed man killed by a BART Police officer in Oakland nearly 22 months ago.

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said they want the maximum 14-year prison sentence for Johannes Mehserle. He is scheduled to be sentenced in two weeks in Los Angeles.

The former transit officer was convicted in July of involuntary manslaughter for the New Year’s Day 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant on an Oakland train station platform.

Longshoreman Jack Heyman, a member of the union’s local executive board, said no cargo will be loaded or unloaded from ships or trucks at ports across the Bay Area.

Photo Gallery: The Shooting Of Oscar Grant

“All ports in the Bay Area will be shut down to protest the atrocity of Johannes Mehserle killing Oscar Grant,” Heyman said. “We intend to send a message loud and clear to the powers that be. Cops have to go to jail when they commit a crime just like anyone else.”

Union workers said they received permission from the Pacific Maritime Association to move their monthly “stop work” meeting from Thursday to Saturday.

Marilyn Sandifur, a spokeswoman for the Port of Oakland, said she does not expect the protest to significantly affect cargo operations.

“We will see what happens when millions of dollars of cargo remain idle,” said Heyman, who estimates some 4,000 dock workers will not be working for eight hours on Saturday.

The 1,300-member union decided to hold the rally after a meeting with Grant’s uncle and Jack Bryson, whose sons were with Grant when he was killed.

Since Mehserle’s conviction, several rallies have been held supporting him.

A sailboat with an American flag and a “Free Johannes Mehserle” banner, organized by his father, has plied waters outside the San Francisco Giants baseball stadium and shown during nationally televised playoff games.

At least two boats featuring banners mentioning Grant also have appeared nearby.

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (22)
  1. What a Waste says:

    How sad that the economy has to suffer even more. Oscar Grant was a convicted Felon with a history of weapons charges. I don’t mouth off to cops because I don’t want to get shot. Had Mr. Grant obeyed the law he would be alive today. I believe the conviction is okay, however, he does not deserve jail time, the poor guy mistook his taser for his service weapon. BART and their lack of training is to be blamed, but at the end of the day Mr. Grant a convicted felon was causing trouble with armed humans, not a smart choice. Now the economy has to suffer even more. WHAT A WASTE, lets fire all the longshoreman and get new ones who will do the work, this does nothing but make me think Grant got what he deserved and the cop needs to go FREE!

    1. AJ says:

      Longshoremen have a stop work meeting every month. If there was no Oscar Grant Lonshoremen would still hold their meeting. Not all Longshoremen support this rally. Don’t start firing people when you don’t know the whole story.

    2. NoJusticeNoPeas says:

      Yes, Mr. Mehserle Sr. We know. We know… Your son is innocent and that Oscar Grant would be alive if he had just shut up. Your big ole country son couldn’t figure out a way to join in with four other people and stop an unarmed man whose hands were handcuffed behind him and who was laying on his stomach. Yeah, that was one dangerous one, that Oscar Grant. Your corn pone and salt pork eating son outweighed Grant by at least 100 lbs. Your Lurch looking son was so dumb he couldn’t figure out how to open his mouth and let words come out. All he could come up with is to shoot a lethal weapon at someone. Yeah, good…real good… You must be so proud.

      1. Tim says:

        You are not very smart. He was NOT handcuffed, the other officers were busy with other suspects, Grant had a history of resisting officers, the officer WAS giving verbal commands….. But you keep your head in the ground and keep spreading misinformation…

    3. prettyinpink says:

      So according to your logic, Mehserle who is now a convicted felon and has a history of weapons charges does that mean he deserves to be shot in the back?

    4. el dough says:

      In memory of Oscar, Kiss My Ass!……..when you get what You deserve, take a millisecond to kick yourself in the butt for the Karma whpping your weak trash-based ass!

    5. J says:

      He was on the floor…UNARMED….and he was KILLED> Enough said!

    6. Brenda says:

      You said everything I was going to say. It’s a sad day when people start ralllying and supporting a felon punk like Oscar Grant

  2. jim says:

    What a waste of time and energy to support a convicted criminal.

    The longshoremen should be ashamed for taking the side of a felon, when Oakland felons have killed hundreds of innocent women and children over the past years.

    The longshoremen should take the day off and walk the streets in protest of the gangs, drug dealers , prostitutes and side with Mehserle

    Shame on you longshoremen

  3. J.B. says:

    Grant’s thugish behavior was a threat to public safety and set in motion the chain of events that directly led to his tragic but accidental shooting.
    Mehserle crossed paths with an out of control criminal and unfortunately let fear cloud his judgement, his bad fortune because had it not been
    Mehserle someone else would have eventually capped the fool and nobody would have given a damn.

  4. Dave says:

    I would like to see the yearly income of all the people who wrote negative comments about Oscar. You grow up in the ghetto and see if you don’t get arrested a couple times; its life. WTH does his criminal history have to do with anything, its not like the cop knew at the time.
    The man had a family and was unarmed. I don’t care if dirty cop thought it was a taser, he took a life that did not need to be taken- that’s prison. Involuntary manslaughter is an INSULT, but he will get what’s commin to him inside

  5. cindy says:

    for all your Oscar lovers, why are you not out protesting the hundreds of others killed by your fellow gang bangers and drug dealers.

    One cop kills a convicted criminal and all you other criminals lovers are up in arms, yet every day your fellow gang bangers kill each other without a peep.

    Oakland need to be fenced in, and set on fire, I bet while the buildings burn down the stores will be looted. anything to get a free pair of shoes.

    1. helenw4 says:

      Well said!!! Thank you!! I agree with you.

  6. karin says:

    Looks like all the drug dealers, gang bangers and prostitutes in Oakland are forming a union to backing and posting pro Oscar.

    They must be low on shoes for the holidays, just jumping on the chance to loot another foot locker.

  7. J.B. says:

    @NoJusticeNoPeas: You seem to want to reduce the tragic events of the night in question to bad parenting. I ask you, what makes a better parent, one who raises a cop or one who raises a criminal? @Dave: Operating under your assertion that everyone from the ghetto has been arrested a couple times suggests to me that Mehserle was well within his rights to directly feel threatened by Grant.You label those who were ghetto raised as criminals, then you ask what does criminal history have to do with anything. Remarkable! There are no winners here. Only losers. Two broken families. Both speaking out in support of their children as any good parent would, right or wrong. Grant did not deserve to die, but through a series of events that were set in motion by his own hand he suffered the ultimate consequences of his actions. Mehserle is now suffering the consequences of his.

    1. Dave says:

      did I say everyone from the ghetto? No. I said gettin arrested if you from the hood is part of life. I will thank you not to make any assumptions about my thought process. By your logic all cops should just be able to shoot anyone from the hood because they are threatened they are from the hood? wow, that is compassion bro. Ya’ll are saying if someone ever did something bad they are a POS for the rest of their life? I’m from the hood, I’ve been arrested multiple times and now I’m getting my Master’s in Public Policy from American University; I guess I’m just worthless too hunh?