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Community Leaders Appeal for Peace

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) Although deliberations have taken a break for the weekend in the murder trial of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, community leaders know a verdict is coming shortly.

And they are coming together and appealing for peace in light of civil unrest that took place following the shooting death of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station on New Year's Day 2009.

Oakland Vice Mayor Jean Quan represents the district where Grant worked at a butcher shop.


"Many of us knew him. He has a human face to us," said Quan. "He was not just a picture or a poster. He was a person who seemed very gentle and very kind."

Members of the clergy and business and student leaders joined elected officials at a news conference appealing for calm.[pullquote quote="Many of us knew him. He has a human face to us." credit="Oakland Vice Mayor Jean Quan"]

Among those attending was Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums.

"This community is grieving. This community feels pain," said Dellums. "This community feels passion and we come together as one community in solidarity with those feelings."

Members of the Laney College Black Student Union have put police on notice, saying that young people will take to the streets following a verdict.

"Your actions can be interpreted in ways that can provoke our young people so be mindful of that," said one member.

All in attendance were reminded that Grant's family is a family of peace.

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