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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons
Judge Orders BART to Release Full Meyers Nave Report for Possible Use in Mehserle Trial
There's a chance we might find out some of what is in the non-public version of BART's Meyers Nave report as Judge Jacobson has ordered BART to release the document for possible use in the trial, against the wishes of Mehserle's defense and against the objections of the other BART cops' lawyers. It is the non-public version that points to the actions of individual officers and supervisors at BART. If allowed in Mehserle's trial, it will only further diminish the credibility of the BART police who lied all over the witness stand during the preliminary hearing. Longer term, the document might also back up community demands that BART officer Tony Pirone be charged by the DA's office as well.
BART simply does not believe in transparency or accountability, but this might be a chance to at least glimpse beyond the wall BART puts up between itself and the public. Not much of the story of what BART police did on January 1st after Oscar Grant III was murdered or internally since then has been made public. We know that Oscar Grant's friends were detained for at least six hours with handcuffs on and never charged with anything. We know that BART police supervisors and/or Internal Affairs let all of the officers from the Fruitvale station platform view the high-resolution video of events surrounding the murder *before* officers filled out their incident reports (video they more or less stole from passenger Tommy Cross). We know from a leak to KTVU that the unreleased Meyers Nave report recommended the firing of Tony Pirone and Marysol Domenici, both of whom still remain on extended paid vacation (er, "paid leave"). We know that BART has reinstated the other four officers on the platform. We know that BART hasn't held a single person of any rank accountable. While BART has effectively denied the public information on the case, much was learned from testimony and the non-public video during the preliminary hearing. Now with the potential use of the Meyer's Nave report in Mehserle's trial, there's a chance that more of BART police force's secretive and corrupt practices might be exposed.
The SF Chronicle reported the following today:
As [prosecutor David Stein] now prepares for Mehserle's trial -- which has no firm start date after being moved out of Alameda County -- Stein may be seeking more ammunition for his cross-examinations of the officers. If so, a judge gave him a favorable ruling this week, ordering BART to hand over a confidential, 84-page report on the officers' conduct by the law firm Meyers Nave.
Stein and defense attorney Michael Rains now have the report, along with thousands of pages of evidence and interview transcripts that are the report's foundation.
Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson, however, ordered the report released under a strict protective guidelines -- and over the objections of the officers' lawyers, who are appealing. If Stein or Rains wants to use anything from the report at trial, they must get permission from the judge.
The documents given to Stein and Rains contain an analysis of those officers' conduct and conclusions about whether they violated department policies. Four of the officers -- Noel Flores, Jonathan Guerra, Emery Knudtson and Jon Woffinden -- have returned to duty. Two others -- Tony Pirone (who detained Grant while investigating a fight on a train, made the decision to arrest him, and at one point cursed at him and forced him to the ground) and his partner, Marysol Domenici -- remain on paid leave as Dugger mulls their fate
read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/crime/detail?&entry_id=49900#ixzz0UWBVd5Rc