Hundreds protest in U.S. city of Oakland over police officer verdict

17:33, July 09, 2010      

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A peaceful demonstration over the verdict of a former transit police officer showed signs of violence Thursday night in the U.S. city of Oakland as some protesters looted a shoe store and clashed with police.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Oakland after Johannes Mehserle was convicted Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed man at a train station in Oakland, a city near San Francisco.

Prosecutors accused Johannes Mehserle of intentionally firing his handgun as he tried to handcuff Oscar J. Grant III, who was black, on New Year's Day of 2009.

Calling it lack of justice, hundreds marched through the street of Oakland to demonstrate in the wake of the verdict.

The mostly peaceful protests appeared to turn violent in the night when a crowd of people smashed windows of a Foot Locker store and began taking items, according to live coverage of local television stations.

Police have arrested dozens of people for fighting with officers, it was reported.

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