Oscar Grant Shooting – On Tuesday, the California Department of Justice made the announcement that it will investigate the acts of a former BART police officer who was involved in the shooting of Oscar Grant in 2009 but was never legally charged in connection with the incident. Grant, a 24-year-old Black male, did not have any weapons on him and was being held down on his stomach on a platform at the Fruitvale BART station when transit cop Johannes Mehserle shot him fatally in the back. Grant died from his injuries. The incident led to enormous demonstrations and murder charges for Mehserle. Mehserle, who claimed that he mistook his gun for his Taser at the time of the shooting, was found guilty of manslaughter in 2010 and sentenced to a jail term of two years; however, he only spent 11 months of that sentence.
In June 2011, he was granted his freedom. Now, after more than a decade has passed, the Attorney General of California, Rob Bonta, has announced that his office will investigate the activities of a second officer, who goes by the name Anthony “Tony” Pirone. According to a statement released by Bonta, “Transparency is vital to creating and sustaining confidence between police enforcement and the communities we serve.” [Citation needed] The statement continued, “The California Department of Justice is committed to undertaking a comprehensive, fair, and independent examination, and we will go where the facts lead.”
According to the statement released by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the request for an independent investigation came from the board of directors of BART as well as Grant’s family, including his mother, Rev. Wanda Johnson.
Johnson stated that charges ought to have been brought against Pione a decade and a half ago. “And I’m pleased that the attorney general is taking it upon himself to step into it.” Bonta’s decision to investigate Pirone’s role in Oscar Grant’s homicide comes on the heels of another assessment of the case done by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley last year. In January, O’Malley indicated her office would not file criminal charges against the former transit cop.