Doing some digging, there seems to be a problem with officer involved shootings in Oakland. One officer has killed two unarmed men in 2008, one of whom was shot in the back while running away. That officer is on leave but no charges have been filed. The Oakland police held a public forum on the issue in December, at which they insisted that "It's not because the officers are doing anything wrong." Regardless of whether or not that is true in this case, this latest incident is a match on a tinderbox.
Ironically, this occurs when a movie is being released about Harvey Milk, which may evoke sore memories in that metro area.
Throw in some economic hard times to boot, and you have a real possibility for a riot.
For me, the real source of frustration in incidents like this is that police seem to be given the benefit of the doubt... placed on paid leave during long investigations... whereas some "street thug" (read black teenager) under similarly questionable circumstances would have been arrested and charged with murder before the ink was even dry on the police report. It would be easier to trust the justice system to reach the right conclusion in incidents like this if that system at least gave the appearance of being blind. It does not.
RE: Police fatally wound man at Oakland BART station on NYE