January 16, 2009
A California town exploded into violent race riots last night after a white former police officer was charged for the shooting of an unarmed black man lying face down on a train platform.
The fatal New Year’s Eve shooting has inflamed long-running racial tensions between police and the many outraged African-American residents of Oakland, California.
Newly released court documents allege that Johannes Mehserle, who was charged Tuesday, shot 22-year-old Oscar Grant while Grant had his hands behind his back and another officer was kneeling on his neck.
Meanwhile, about 50 people were evacuated from their homes after Mehserle’s parents found two suspicious packages on their porch Wednesday evening, the Napa County Sheriff’s department said.
Bomb squad officers evacuated the neighborhood while trying to determine the contents of the packages. When authorities could not determine what was inside, they destroyed them. The residents were then allowed to return home.