According to documents released last week under a new California police transparency law, former BART police officer Anthony Pirone assaulted 22-yer-old Oscar Grant, called him the N-word, and lied about what led to another officer eventually opening fire and killing the young father, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Pirone claimed that he was “fighting for his life,” according to documents stemming from an internal investigation completed by an outside law firm after Grant’s death in 2009. In reality, Pirone instigated the incident with “repeated and unnecessary use of force” with Grant, along with his use of racial slurs.
Grant was pronounced dead nine hours after the BART shooting, in one of the first cases of extrajudicial murder to be caught on cellphone video and circulated via social media. Grant’s family were awarded more than $2.5 million from BART.
“Pirone was, in large part, responsible for setting the events in motion that created a chaotic and tense situation on the platform,” the document states, “setting the stage, even if inadvertent, for the shooting of Oscar Grant.”
Johannes Mehserle eventually shot and killed Grant. He served the minimum two-year sentence after being found guilty of manslaughter. Mehserle said he believed he had pulled his taser when he pulled his gun, though documents also suggest he was aware he was pulling his gun.
Mehserle can be seen, as the document states, “standing over Grant,” before reaching for his gun and “firing one round into the back of Grant.”
Mehserle was initially charged with murder, though officer Marysol Domenici, who was fired and reinstated with backpay after being found truthful, painted Grant and his friends as the instigators.
“If they would have followed orders, this wouldn’t have happened,” she said.