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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State & Prisons View other events for the week of 7/19/2010
|Pigs to Rally in Support of Johannes Mehserle & Other Cops Who Kill|
|Date||Monday July 19|
|Time||2:00 PM - 5:00 PM|
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Walnut Creek Courthouse
640 Ygnacio Valley Road
Walnut Creek, CA
An earlier version of the murderous pig-loving Facebook calendar listing, which by Tuesday afternoon had been taken down once it started getting attention outside of pig circles, declared: "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. ITS TIME TO STOP THROWING OUR OFFICERS UNDER THE BUS. ITS TIME TO STEP UP AND SUPPORT JOHANNES AND OUR OFFICERS AND TAKE A STAND. OSCAR GRANT WAS RESISTING ARREST. JOHANNES MEHSERLE TOLD THE TRUTH!"
Around 4 p.m. Tuesday, it was tamed down, all posts were erased, and the rally was renamed "In Support of Johannes Mehserle and L.E.O." LEO stands for Law Enforcement Officers.
Concord police Officer Ken Carlson said he plans to attend.
"Within the law enforcement community we've raised some money for (Mehserle) and things like that," Carlson said. "And as far as an outspoken event in support of him, it's long overdue."
John Burris, attorney for Oscar Grant's family, said he was not surprised such a rally would be held.
"There are individuals who support Mehserle and support police in general & and that's just part of & the split in this country, those who don't really understand the actions of the police in the African American community," Burris said.
Junior Aguilar, a Pleasant Hill resident who plans to attend the rally, said it's not about race. .
"BART failed Mehserle," Aguilar said. "He was not properly trained to use the Taser. So the question is, who is at fault here? It's the BART agency. I believe he is innocent."
By 4 p.m. Tuesday, 40 people had confirmed on the Facebook page they would attend the rally. Some work for police departments in Contra Costa County.
Walnut Creek Police Chief Joel Bryden said that if any of his officers attend, they will be off duty and not representing the department.
Police learned of the rally Tuesday, Bryden said, when a woman who said she was organizing the event came to City Hall to ask whether she needed a permit. Because it's a "First Amendment issue," no permit is required, Bryden said
Bryden said he will have officers at the rally to keep the peace.
Why rally in Walnut Creek?
"That only shows the demographic," said Burris. "If they came to Oakland they may have a confrontation they do not want to have."
Carlson said he assumed that Walnut Creek is a local point. " "I think it's just a matter of convenience."
Michael Walker of the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant said a pro-Mehserle rally is an attempt to reduce Mehserle's jail time.
"They all just sat back and said 'let justice play out' and they didn't do these mass rallies because they thought he was going to get away with it," said Walker, who plans to attend Monday's rally with other coalition members.