OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – The 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant will now undergo an independent review by the state Attorney General’s office.
The actions of another BART officer on that Fruitvale BART platform will be the focus of the investigation.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta says the Department of Justice will conduct its own independent review of former BART police officer Anthony Pirone’s role in the 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant.
A jury found the BART police officer that pulled the trigger, Johannes Mehserle, guilty of involuntary manslaughter for shooting Oscar Grant in the back while he was face down on the Fruitvale BART platform.
However, Officer Pirone was never criminally charged for his involvement. Attorney General Bonta released this statement regarding his decision:
“Transparency is critical to building and maintaining trust between law enforcement and the communities we serve. The California Department of Justice is committed to conducting a thorough, fair, and independent review and will go where the facts lead.”
“Oscar’s civil rights were violated. He suffered a hate crime and then he was murdered,” Bobby X said.
Oscar Grant’s uncle, Bobby X, says the family has been waiting for 12-years for the law to catch up to Anthony Pirone and hold him accountable for his role in the death of his nephew.
“We are cautiously optimistic that he is doing it forthright from his heart, and will allow the law to speak to the essence of what it should be. Giving us our day in court,” Bobby X said.
Alameda County District Attorney had this to say about her decision not to prosecute Anthony Pirone.
“I listened very closely to the request of the family when they asked me to reexamine the involvement of former BART police officer Anthony Pirone. We conclude that we can’t prove Pirone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” Nancy O’Malley said.
“I can only say the passage of time is not a bar from bringing murder charges,” John Burris said.
Civil rights attorney John Burris represented Grant’s family in a successful civil lawsuit.
He says he sees an important opportunity here.
“What is important here is that the family and other people in the community need to know that there is a way to go, another institution available to them when the local district attorney’s office refuses to bring charges,” Burris said.