OAKLAND (KCBS) – Oakland officials said they're prepared for a planned demonstration on Sunday afternoon over the early release of former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle from a Los Angeles prison.
A rally is scheduled to take place at the Fruitvale BART station on Sunday, followed by a march to downtown Oakland. It was on the Fruitvale BART platform on New Year's Day of 2009 where Mehserle shot and killed unarmed passenger Oscar Grant.
KCBS' Anna Duckworth Reports:
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said that while past demonstrations have taken a turn for the worse, she's expecting things to be peaceful this time around.
"We're always going to be prepared in case something happens because in the past, we've had problems caused by outsiders," she said. "But we're not seeing any indications that there will be a big gathering of outsiders."
As a precaution, several businesses have their storefront windows boarded up.
20-year-old Savannah Mann and her friend Jasmine Armstead live in the downtown area and said they've been seeing flyers about the rally and march. Mann said she's hoping things remain peaceful this time.
"I'm not going to be down there, but I'm glad they're preparing for it," she said.
Oakland police have a mutual aid response plan with the California Highway Patrol, Alameda County Sheriff's Department and other local agencies. Mehserle is scheduled to be released from Los Angeles County Jail on Monday afternoon.
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