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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons
BART Cop Tony Pirone FIRED!! His credibility will be an issue in Mehserle trial. Will DA prosecute Pirone?
Congratulations to everyone who has worked over the last 15 months to help make this happen!!
Tony Pirone, the BART cop who, along with his partner BART cop Marysol Domenici, physically and verbally abused Oscar Grant and his friends on the Fruitvale BART platform on January 1st, 2009 -- setting up and escalating the situation that Johannes Mehserle walked into just minutes before he shot Oscar Grant in the back -- has finally been fired by BART.
Exactly two weeks after the largest demonstration for justice for Oscar Grant in over a year took to the BART system's underground stations in San Francisco -- demanding that Tony Pirone be fired by BART and tried for his crimes by the Alameda County DA -- BART's interim Police Chief Dash Butler, who supervised police at the protest, has finally fired racist and violent BART cop Tony Pirone. Chief Butler sent a message to police personal regarding Tony Pirone's actions on New Year's Day 2009 -- "that sort of thing isn't accepted."
This has to be bad news for Johannes Mehserle's upcoming trial for the murder of Oscar Grant in June in Los Angeles. Both Pirone and Domenici (herself fired on March 24th) had previously testified at Mehserle's preliminary hearing. They told lie after lie on behalf of their friend in blue, but both still had their credibility officially intact because BART had refused to hold them accountable in any way. In fact, the agency's only public comment on them had been that all of the officers on the platform on New Year's Day had acted professionally and according to protocol, placing the blame for Oscar Grant's murder on Oscar Grant himself. But now, the officer who pulled one of Oscar Grant's friends to the ground by his hair (a "hair pull takedown," as Pirone bragged in court), the officer who yelled "Bitch ass ni**er" at Oscar Grant seconds before he was murdered, will no longer be able to testify as a police officer in good standing within his department.
And now that the paychecks have finally stopped -- well over $100,000 paid in salary in the 15 months since the murder of Oscar Grant -- what will the Alameda County District Attorney's office do to hold Tony Pirone accountable for his actions on January 1st, 2009? Do they care to prosecute hate crimes committed by police officers?