Marysol Domenici is a former BART police officer who was among the first to respond to the Fruitvale BART station on New Year’s Day 2009 to tend to a report of fighting on-board a Dublin-Pleasanton bound train — an incident that ultimately led to the shooting death of passenger Oscar Grant by another former officer Johannes Mehserle.
The incident was captured on camera by numerous passengers who were recording the entire incident on cell phones and other devices. Along with her partner, BART Police Officer Tony Pirone, they were the first officers at Fruitvale BART station that night.
From the video, Domenici is seen attempting to control the crowd and precariously waving her taser at Grant and his friends. At one point, Domenici threatens to tase an individual in the face if he didn’t comply with her law enforcement orders.
An third party review of the events singled out that act as highly disturbing and a direct violation of internal procedures regarding taser use.
In court testimony during Mehserle’s pre-trial hearing in Oakland, Domenici testified that she had never feared for her life more than what she encountered on the Fruitvale Station platform. Domenici told the judge that the situation was so volatile and out of control that she considered using her firearm.
Prosecutors in the case, and even the judge, would later criticize her retelling of the events saying that it was greatly exaggerated and was not backed by eyewitness videos.
On Mar. 25, 2010, under a recommendation from an independent firm hired by BART to assess the fatal shooting, Domenici was fired from the transit police force after spending almost 16 months on paid administrative leave following the incident.
Domenici’s lawyer called the firing a political move designed to scapegoat blame from the incident towards her client.
Her partner, BART Police Officer Anthony Pirone, was fired by the agency on April 22, 2010.
Information compiled from Beat research and news services