Oscar Grant's family wants death case reopened, another BART officer charged
OAKLAND, Calif. - The family of Oscar Grant wants the Alameda County District Attorney to reopen the case and charge a former BART police officer who was there when the young man was killed more than a decade ago.
Grant's family is holding a news conference on Monday at the Fruitvale BART station to discuss their new demands.
They are basing their desires following an independent report and video showing former officer Anthony Pirone hitting Grant in the head and kneeing him on the Fruitvale BART station platform in 2009, and that he was largely responsible for setting events in motion that led to Grant being killed.
“Pirone appears to be changing, shifting and shading the facts to put his actions and conduct in a more favorable light,” the report's authors found. “Pirone was, in large part, responsible for setting the events in motion that created a chaotic and tense situation on the platform, setting the stage, even if inadvertent, for the shooting of Oscar Grant,” concluded Kimberly Colwell and Jayne Williams, the two attorneys who authored the report dated July 31, 2009.
The authors also cited Pirone’s “repeated, unreasonable and unnecessary use of force,” his “manifest lack of veracity” and his use of the word “n—” word while arguing with Grant on the BART platform in Oakland. Witnesses, the report authors found, also later described Pirone as the "crazy cop," “very agitated," "harsh and unprofessional," and "not calm, not once."
Pirone was fired but never prosecuted. He also could not be located for comment.
Last year, Grant's uncle, Cephus "Uncle Bobby" Johnson, said that this new information about Pirone's aggressive behavior just confirms his belief that the officer should have been charged as an accessory to the death.
Grant died after being shot and killed by BART officer Johannes Mehserle, who said he accidentally used a real gun on Grant instead of using his Taser. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months in jail.