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Oscar Grant Update: Bay Area is Stunned as a Lying BART Cop is Reinstated
by via Davey D.
Monday Dec 20th, 2010 10:04 AM
Last week an officer who blatantly lied under oath was given her job back.. We’re talking about Marysol Domenici who was one of the first officers to on the scene at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, January 1 2009 when an unarmed Oscar Grant was shot in the back by convicted former BART cop Johannes Mehserle.
Domenici was fired after an independent investigating law firm Meyers Nave concluded she had lied about what took place the night of Grant’s murder. Domenici who had been on 15 months paid leave at the time of her firing, appealed via arbitration with the ruling she be immediately reinstated with back pay. The arbitrator, William Riker insisted that the prior investigation was flawed and that he saw no evidence that Domenici was untruthful.

Rulings like these have given people more and more reason to have little confidence in the justice system. What has taken place over the past two years around the killing of a Oscar Grant is something all of us involved with social justice issues will have to study for years to come. How can one be so meticulous in following every ‘proper’ step to seek justice only to see it thwarted at every turn?

To hear an arbitrator say that Domenici didn’t lie is beyond outrageous. Here’s a few things that are glaring.

During the preliminary hearings Domenici under oath emphatically stated that Oscar Grant had grabbed her arm. However when a video was shown it showed Grant holding on to the arm of his friend Jack Bryson. When confronted with the video, Domenici recanted her statement.

Under oath Domenici claimed that there were 40-50 people on the BART platform, the scene was chaotic and she feared for her life.. Those were exact words-She feared for her life. However, when a video is shown.. there is NO ONE on the platform.. Where were the 50 people?  Not only that Domenici trained Black belt fighter which suggests a discipline and methodic approach toward dangerous situations, claimed she feared for her life, yet never called for back up. She also said that she would’ve used lethal force and killed somebody.

During the actual trial when Domenici took the stand she was confronted with her lies about 40-50 people being on the platform.. She tried to switch it up and say the train that was packed with passengers returning home from New year’s celebrations was ‘an extension’ of the platform. Yes, the train was packed, but no one was rowdy or jumping our confronting officers.

Domenici also claimed that Oscar friends caused his death by not co-operating. She made the claim they had struggled against her, but when questioned she noted that Grant’s friends didn’t struggle. What was crazy was Domenici had pulled out a taser and had pointed it at the heads of some of Grants friends threatening to shoot them which was not only against department protocol but also deemed unconstitutional by the 9th circuit court.

For folks in the Bay Area who have followed this case, from day one there was a call to have all the officers on that BART platform charged with crimes after Oscar Grant was murdered. While it was Johannes Mehserle who did the shooting, Domenici and her partner Tony Pirone who was also fired and now appealing, set the hostile climate that led to Grant’s death.

By deliberately exaggerating and making it sound like things were out of control, anyone the officers grabbed that night were likely to be subjected to harsh treatment. This is what happened to Grant and his friends.  Even after he was shot, he was handcuffed because the officers claimed the environment was hostile.

BART says the ruling to reinstate Domenici is out of their control. The ruling has left many in the Bay Area asking some hard questions: 1-How could Marysol Domenici be reinstated in the face of all her wrong doings? 2-Why has she not been charged with perjury? By all accounts she lied on the stands. Her sworn accounts do not coincide with what was shown on videos? They also change from the preliminary trial to the trial?  Why hasn’t Alameda DA Nancy O’Malley hit Domenici with perjury charges?  The statute of limitations have not run out? If not O’Malley should this question be brought to the feet of California’s new Attorney General Kamala Harris?

Many are vowing to keep pushing in the upcoming New Year. Thus far two years have hard work have been stomped on by a far right conservative judges, Robert Perry and now this arbitrator who says he found nothing untruthful. All one has to do is read her statements, look at the video and can see it clearly. It’s clear for some the admission that cops could do something so egregious is unfathomable and thus even in the face of something this glaring, they give the police benefit of the doubt. That has got to change in the New Year.

-Davey D-

by via Davey D. Monday Dec 20th, 2010 10:04 AM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Dan
Monday Dec 20th, 2010 11:44 AM
"That has got to change in the New Year."

True and it should. But it has been said in the past and the only change has been the declining number of rioters thinking that marching in the streets, smashing windows and jumping on cars means [fill in the blank with smashing capitalism, rising up with the working/oppressed classes, or reshaping the role of the police]. Sadly, the only thing that has really happened is that a small group of protesters has been validated in their worldview by being arrested.

If we want accountability and change, we need to set realistic and attainable goals. Certainly, criticism of tactics is not taken well here, but it is clear the all-or-nothing approach to a protest does very little, short of long-term. Much like the logging company that proposes just a 10% annual increase in the cut of old growth on public land, so should activists on this issue. While a 10% change is not the overthrow that self-styled anarchists promote, it is more effective. 10% of a whole after several years amounts to significant in-roads, but it is hard work involving compromise and communication with those we may not agree.

If we are serious about it, we will abandon the 'me-first' and 'this-is-our-art' attitude to protests and work to change rules, laws and regulations through the slow and tedious legislative. Or at least join with those that are working in that direction, away from the riots. Then we might not have pergering public servants reinstated. Unless, of course, we only agree that marching in the streets is all we really want.
by ntuit
Monday Dec 20th, 2010 12:41 PM
This reversal strikes me as something very similar to the effects of globalization and free trade agreements. In a supposed democracy the people have a right to make decisions about their community and the way it is run. In globalization, external powers can dictate what the sovereign government can or cannot do. I.E.: if a local government passed an environmentally sound law which violates the global trade agreement it would be forced by the federal government to back down. This is in no way a democracy.

The same with this BART situation. This is in no way a democracy. There are forces here that I don't think we understand. This is not about participating in the existing system to make change. It is something much more devious. Think about it. When people say "I am Oscar Grant" think about the implications. What did the system do to Oscar Grant?
by Shigman
Monday Dec 20th, 2010 5:26 PM
The reason it doesn't seem there wasn't anyone on the platform was because it was all behind the phone cameras. Ever different angle showed more people so nice try with that.
by //////
Monday Dec 20th, 2010 7:07 PM
the forces we dont understand is facism!
by tyco
Tuesday Dec 21st, 2010 1:58 PM
there are black men who have been in ''jail twice''. why? for talking back to a racists! what makes anyone think cause youve been in jail that you deserve to be shot. in addition tony pirones racist comments.
by Get real
Tuesday Dec 21st, 2010 9:21 PM
I probably shouldn't even bother to respond to '' Tofu '' (probably a Cop or a Cop ''groupie '' ) but briefly i have attended many New years parties and worked occasionally at Bars on that night .The number of shoving matches, fist fights etc. probably number in the thousands in SF on that New Years eve .And once i saw six full scale fights , a bottle broken over a guys head and several shoving matches in which the bouncer and i intervened before they escalated . Did i work in a lower working class bar in the tenderloin with a lot of felon customers ? No I worked at upscale ''yuppie '' clubs .
I remember one incident in which a couple of very drunk , pushy , thuggish type guys finally provoked what they claerly wanted , a fight . But it went badly for them so at one point one of them pulled a gun from his ankle holster ! Of course he and his buddy was a cop ! Fortunely a woman who worked in the DA's office screamed '' I'm a ADA ''. Stop it now ! ' and thus no one was shot .
Shortly afterwards a couple of Unformed cops arrived , grabbed and cuffed the dudes who were just defending themselves and were going to charge them with '' assaulting a Police officer ''but the whole bar exploded in outrage ,demanded that the cops back off etc. Faced with a possible mini''riot'' they reconsidered.
So even iF Oscar Grant had been involved in a light weight No injury shoving match on a BART train that if did happen at all stopped several stations before Fruitvale that didn't even remotely justify what occurred .
If every drunk acting in a anti-social way was gunned down there would be thousands on dead Irish and Italian -Americans (and many of them off duty cops ! )
But you know that don't you Officer ''Tofu "' ?
by freedom fighter
Wednesday Dec 22nd, 2010 4:48 PM
As a protest to Officer Dominici getting her "job" back and in memory of Oscar Grant, BART should be shut down at Midnight on New Years Eve. Or as an alternative or addition, no BART cop should be allowed to work on the day of New Years Eve. People can figure out where they come from and blockade their assembly points. Let's plan it out now. Try not to get arrested. Fuck the Police.