More BART protests planned

February 26, 2009 5:50:22 PM PST
The Bay Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors got an angry earful Thursday from people who continue to be frustrated with the agency's handling of the New Year's Day shooting of Oscar Grant.

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"People have the right to be mad; this young man was shot in the back, begging for his life" East Bay Small Business Council member Darrell Carey said.

The Oakland law firm hired to conduct an Internal Affairs investigation into the shooting wants to find more witnesses. So far they know of at least 40.

"The results of our investigation can lead to changes in policies procedures, and as I indicated, that could include discipline up to termination," Mayers Nave Law Firm spokesperson Jayne Williams said.

But the angry sentiments are not just being directed at BART's board. The group No Justice No BART plans to shut down the Fruitvale Station during rush hour next Thursday.

"This is the response of the community to the fact that very little action has been taken," group spokesperson George Ciccariello-Maher said.

BART police Chief Gary Gee is taking the threat seriously.

"If there is any disruption we want to be there to mitigate it, if not in advance, at least when it happens," Gee said.

Oakland police plan to have extra officers on duty.

"As we've seen in the last couple protests, they spill onto the streets and once they hit the streets it's going to be the Oakland Police Department that will deal with it," Oakland police spokesperson Officer Jeff Thomason said.

But even some who have been leading the charge against BART are making a plea for calm.

"If you really want justice for Mr. Grant and his family, let's get rid of this violence and this attitude, 'we're gonna tear the place up,'" the Reverend Amos Brown said.

The group planning next week's protest says they will continue to protest weekly until their list of demands is met. The list includes the successful prosecution of former BART officer Johannes Mehserle, and the termination to Gee and BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger.

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