The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Officer Anthony Pirone, Commanding Officer of the BART platform where Oscar Grant was killed on January 1, has testified that Grant posed no threat to officers when he was detained on the platform moments before being shot in the back by Officer Johannes Mehserle. Pirone’s testimony came under cross-examination by deputy District Attorney David Stein on the sixth day of preliminary hearings of Mehserle, who is accused of murder for his actions. According to SJMN, Pirone remembered fewer details when being cross-examined by Stein than he did when questioned by Mehserle’s attorney. He also made statements on the stand that conflicted with the video footage taken by witnesses to the incident.
Stein’s cross-examination came after Pirone was allowed to recount for Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay what Mehserle’s allegedly said before and just after he shot Grant.“He started yelling, ‘I’m going to tase him; I’m going to tase him…He starts to yell, ‘Get back; get back,’ and then he yelled, ‘Tony, Tony,’ and that is when I popped up.” Pirone then heard a gun shot and looked at Mehserle. “I looked up and saw Officer Mehserle with a gun in his hand,” Pirone said. “I think I said, ‘Oh, (expletive).” He continued “Officer Mehserle is looking like he is lost,” Pirone said. “Mehserle told me, ‘Tony, I thought he was going for a gun.”