Late yesterday, BART’s police department fired Anthony Pirone, the cop who was caught on video assaulting Oscar Grant on the BART platform minutes before Grant was shot in the back by fellow BART officer Johannes Mehserle. Pirone, who was one of the first officers to respond to reports of an altercation at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland on New Year’s Eve 2009, was the police officer who ordered that Grant be arrested.
Pirone also called Grant a string of racial epithets seconds before he was killed. Video was played during the court hearing that followed Grant’s death and has galvanized community members, who have repeatedly demanded that Pirone be fired or disciplined. On April 9, protesters joined at downtown San Francisco BART stations again calling on BART to fire Pirone.
In late March, BART fired officer Marysol Domenici for her involvement in Grant’s death. There were five other police officers on the scene that night, including Mehserle, who was also caught on video shooting Grant in the back as he lay face down on the platform.
Mehserle is the only police officer who faced charges. His case, which was moved to Los Angeles, is set to start June 7. Mehserle has pleaded not guilty.
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