Alameda County deputy district attorney David Stein called up Keecha Williams, the driver of the Dublin-Pleasanton train that Oscar Grant was pulled off of before he was killed on Jan 1, 2009. Williams was called up to testify in the murder trial of Johannes Mehserle, an ex-BART cop who shot and killed Oscar Grant that night.
She testified that the fight on her train was typical New Year’s Eve fare, and that the fight Grant supposedly had with other people on the train was not unusually violent.
“It’s just what we get on New Year’s Eve. That’s what we get. Crowds, hot lunches and fights,” Williams remembered telling BART cop Tony Pirone that night, according to the Oakland Tribune.
The Oakland Tribune says that Williams’ testimony contradicts Pirone’s statements about that night. Wiliams remembered calling central command to report a fight on her train after a passenger alerted her to it as she pulled into the Fruitvale BART station. She was told to stop at the station and leave her doors open, but could not see the fight inside the train on her own.
Williams remembered thinking she would be able to close her train doors and get moving quickly, but heard her passengers reacting to the violent use of force by officers and the people who’d gotten pulled off the train.
“I saw Pirone. He was like jabbing with his arms. He was fighting with somebody,” Williams said. “When I seen him, he was just punching towards somebody.” Williams reported Pirone’s conduct and kept waiting. All of a sudden, a shot rang out. Williams’ testimony contradicted Pirone’s last week. He had said that he’d had multiple exchanges with the train operator, called “the T.O.” for short, who’d confirmed the identities of the people who’d been fighting on the train. Williams said she didn’t do anything like that.
The AP reported that morning arguments in the Oscar Grant trial wrapped up this morning with the jury being shown a synchronized video combining five of the six cell phone videos of the shooting that night, plus audio from the dispatch calls.