Uploaded on Feb 15, 2010
The BART Police shooting of Oscar Grant was a fatal shooting in Oakland, California, United States, in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009. Responding to reports of a fight on a crowded BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train returning from San Francisco, BART Police officers had detained Grant and several other passengers on the platform at the Fruitvale BART Station. Officer Johannes Mehserle and another officer were restraining Grant, who was prostrate. Officer Mehserle stood, drew his gun and shot Grant once in the back. Grant was unarmed. Grant was pronounced dead at 9:13 am the next morning at Highland Hospital in Oakland. On January 13, Alameda County prosecutors charged Mehserle with murder for the shooting. He resigned his position and pled not guilty.
The events were captured on multiple digital and cell phone cameras. The shooting has been variously labeled an involuntary manslaughter and an execution. Mehserle’s criminal defense attorney claimed Mehserle intended to fire his Taser, but mistakenly shot Grant with a pistol.
A cell-phone video broadcast on local television station KTVU on January 23 showed what appeared to be Pirone rushing towards Grant and punching him in the face two minutes before he was shot. Grant’s family alleges in their civil claim against BART that an officer threw Grant against a wall and kneed him in the face. Witnesses testified that Pirone was the aggressor during the incident. Burris also disputes Pirone’s account and claims that Grant and his friends were “peaceful” when the train stopped. Grant then raised his hands while seated against the platform wall. Additional footage from a cell phone was presented in court showing Pirone standing over the prone Grant before the shooting and yelling “Bitch-ass n****r.” Pirone and his attorney say he was parroting an epithet that Grant had said to him.
Burris says BART confiscated numerous cell phone images that he believes contains additional evidence of the killing. Witnesses at the scene also claim police attempted to confiscate cameras.