SF residents join call for peace after Mehserle verdict

July 5, 2010 6:37:00 PM PDT
Deliberations in the BART shooting trial will start again Tuesday morning. Jurors deliberated for more than two hours Friday after getting 45 minutes of instructions from the judge.

The jury is deciding whether to acquit or convict former BART police officer Johaness Mehserle in the killing of Oscar Grant. Oakland city leaders, police and businesses are already preparing for protests after the verdict.

Residents in another city are now also calling for calm.

One could argue what happens in Oakland should stay in Oakland, except that the outrage over Oscar Grant's shooting has also been felt in San Francisco's black community.

"We want to start the healing and stop the killing," Mattie Scott said Monday.

Before any verdict was even heard, San Francisco families who have lost their loved ones to gun violence decided Monday to honor the request of no-violence made by Oscar Grant's mother.

Paulette Brown's son Aubrey Abrakasa was fatally shot nearly four years ago.

"It's not going to solve anything," she says. "It's just going to, again, cause a ripple effect and people and families are going to continue to hurt."

Supervisor Bevan Dufty invited the families to talk on the steps of City Hall.

"We have to move forward as a city and as a society to resolve our differences without resorting to a gun," he says.

"You've got to make sure the choices you make are the best choices for you, and anytime there's violence that brings out other violence, the solution always equals to disaster," says antiviolence activist Rudy Corpuz.

Mattie Scott also lost her son. She started a group called "Healing Circle," a support group for victims of violence.

"I grew up in New Orleans. We had to sit at the back of the bus, but we didn't' go around throwing eggs at people or calling people that we hated, white people," she says. "We took that energy and turned into a positive way with the help of Dr. King and others."

In the past few weeks, San Francisco police have reached out to the black community and religious leaders asking them to keep the peace. San Francisco's police chief will hold a press conference Tuesday to extend that message.


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