Several Oakland city officials and members of the BART Board of Directors are calling on Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley to reconsider her decision to not press charges against former BART Police Officer Anthony Pirone in the 2009 killing of Oscar Grant III.
At a press conference Tuesday, Oakland City Councilmember Loren Taylor – along with BART Directors Lateefah Simon and Bevan Dufty — denounced O'Malley's decision. Taylor said Councilmembers Carroll Fife, Nikki Fortunato Bas and Treva Reid were co-sponsors of his resolution urging the DA to reverse course, which was heard and approved by the full council Tuesday evening.
"Yesterday's decision by DA O'Malley to not press charges against Officer Pirone is more than a disappointment. It is a travesty," Taylor said. "We are here to demand that justice be served."
Grant was laying face-down on the platform when he was shot in the back by former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle at Oakland's Fruitvale Station in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 2009. Mehserle was convicted in 2010 of involuntary manslaughter after claiming he had meant to reach for a Taser instead of his firearm — a claim disputed in a 94-page report released in May 2019 under the terms of Senate Bill 1421, California's police transparency law.
That report also found that Pirone's actions at the scene — which witnesses described as "crazy" and "very agitated" — escalated the situation and "started a cascade of events that ultimately led to the shooting."