SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Police departments in California and across the country are bracing for large demonstrations when a grand jury decides whether to indict a white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.
There were rallies and vigils in Oakland and San Francisco after Michael Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson, in August.
The Bay Area protests after Brown’s killing were small in contrast to the violence sparked here by the 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant. The unarmed 22-year-old was shot by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. Like Ferguson, demonstrators in Oakland clashed with SWAT teams, but the unrest was not as protracted as the violence in Ferguson. A jury convicted Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter.
Boston police leaders met this week to discuss possible preparations. Los Angeles police have been in touch with their counterparts in Missouri, who released their security plans for the indictment decision this week. Las Vegas police joined community leaders in calling for restraint at a rally planned northwest of the casino strip.
There has been no official statement from Bay Area law enforcement. Many believe, however, a decision in the racially charged case will inevitably reignite long-simmering debates over local police relations with minority communities. Other big-city police departments have stressed they’re well-equipped to handle unruly crowds.
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