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BART employees Saturday helped clean up an Oakland neighborhood that was damaged during riots caused by the shooting of a BART passenger on New Year's Day.

More than 125 workers from the transit system and their friends and families, helped to clean Oakland's downtown South of Broadway area.

The employees worked with the Oakland City Council to sweep streets, paint over graffiti, rake leaves and pull weeds from tree wells in the neighborhood, which covers the area between 12th and 17th streets and Franklin and Madison streets, according to BART officials.

The downtown area "took the brunt of the damage during the protests held earlier this month and our staff expressed a deep desire to help," BART Board President Thomas Blalock said in a prepared statement.

"BART employees have expressed an interest in doing something positive since the tragic shooting incident on New Year's Day," BART Board Member Carole Ward Allen said. "Along with a commitment to public service, many BART employees have a deep tradition of civic mindedness and sought an opportunity to volunteer their time constructively."

Several rallies have taken place following the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III by former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale station.

The most unruly demonstration came on Jan. 7, when protesters smashed windows of vehicles and businesses in the downtown area. More than 100 arrests were made in connection to that protest.


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The most recent protest came Friday night after bail for Mehserle was set at $3 million by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson. Police arrested nine people in Friday's demonstration.

Mehserle remained in Santa Rita Jail on Sunday and did not make bail.