OAKLAND, Calif. – On Monday, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced she won’t file charges against Anthony Pirone, the 2nd BART officer involved in the fatal Officer-Involved Shooting death of Oscar Grant. O’Malley stated that the officer didn’t personally kill Grant, nor did he aid the officer who did.
Grant was shot and killed in the early hours of New Years Day in 2009, following a physical altercation in a lightrail train. Grant was pulled off, pinned to the ground, and shot in the back by officer Johannes Mehserle, who testified that he mistook his service weapon for a taser.
Witnesses recalled hearing Mehserle call Grant racial slurs before shooting him. He would go on to serve 11 months for involuntary manslaughter.
In October of 2020, 11 years after Grant’s death, O’Malley had reopened the investigation into Anthony Pirone after Grant’s family had sought to press criminal charges for years. According to a 2009 BART internal investigation, Pirone had struck Grant in the head multiple times and kneed him. These injuries caused head fractures and a hematoma.
Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, spoke to the Bay Area News Group.
“My son laid on the cold concrete with that Officer Pirone’s knee on his neck. My son’s head was smashed against the wall and he was kicked and he was pushed. Pirone still walks around free today,” She said.
In a 16-page document, O’Malley stated that, regardless of how “offensive or unacceptable” Pirone’s conduct was, he didn’t directly kill Grant nor did he know Officer Mehserle would fire.
According to the previously mentioned internal investigation report, Pirone ignored his training and quickly proceeded through the initial investigation, triggering a “cascade of events that ultimately led to the shooting of Grant.”
Grant was 22 and left behind a daughter, who is now 16.
SOURCE: CNN, NBC, ASSOCIATED PRESS, EAST BAY TIMES, BAY AREA NEWS GROUP, SF CHRONICLE