Angels warned of possible Oakland riots
CHICAGO -- Major League Baseball called the Los Angeles Angels last week to warn them about the possibility of riots in Oakland this weekend if a verdict comes down in the case of a transit officer who is on trial for shooting an unarmed man on a train platform.
The case, which involves a white officer and a black victim, has sparked racial tensions in the East Bay, so the trial was moved to Los Angeles. Jury deliberations resumed Thursday.
MLB security phoned Angels traveling secretary Tom Taylor to explain the situation and offer the team extra security. The Angels, who are scheduled to arrive in the Bay Area late Thursday night for a weekend series in Oakland, are staying in a San Francisco hotel and will bus to Oakland Coliseum.
"I don't anticipate anything. We're going to play baseball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Obviously, it's a high-visibility trial and I'm sure there are going to be emotional reactions, but we're going to play baseball. I don't anticipate any issues."
Johannes Mehserle, a former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer, is charged with murder for allegedly shooting Oscar Grant III at Oakland's Fruitvale BART station Jan. 1, 2009.
Grant, 22, was shot while Mehserle and another officer were trying to handcuff Grant.
Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com