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Topic: Tony Pirone

Anthony Pirone is a former BART Police Officer who was the first person that responded to the Fruitvale Station platform before unarmed passenger Oscar Grant was shot to death by former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle.

The entire incident was caught on amateur video by spectators who were on-board a crowded train stopped at the station.

Pirone was among the officers who were summoned to the East Oakland station by the train operator who reported to BART Central Control that there was a fight between two groups on-board her train.

Pirone, and his former partner, Marysol Domenici, began pulling the involved parties off the train and corralling them against a station platform.

During pre-trial hearings, Pirone testified that Grant “had brought the situation onto himself.” He publicly criticized the dead man for not complying with law enforcement orders.

But Pirone’s actions have come under the microscope too.

In one amateur video obtained by local television station KTVU, Pirone is seen striking Grant with his fist or forearm — an act reported on by the TV news station and heavily criticized by community members who saw the move as unnecessary, especially before Grant would be shot and killed by another BART officer.

Pirone’s attorney, Bill Rappaport, defended his client saying that Grant had attempted to knee the officer in the groin. Rappaport said that Pirone was solely trying to defend himself by striking Grant using a defensive move.

John Burris, the attorney retained by the Grant estate, claimed that the video evidence did not back up those claims. He called Pirone one of the primary aggressors who heightened tensions between police and Grant by using racial epithets that ultimately led to the shooting incident.

Pirone has been with the transit police force for 5 years. Before he joined BART Police, he was a police officer for Lawrence Livermore Lab, and a U.S. Marine.

On Mar. 25, 2010, his partner Domenici was fired by BART Police for her performance during the New Year’s Day incident. An independent report completed by law firm Meyers Nave recommended that he be terminated from the force.

Information compiled from Beat research and news services

Tony Pirone

Anthony Pirone is currently employed as a transit police officer with BART, but remains on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into his actions at the Fruitvale Station platform when unarmed passenger Oscar Grant was shot to death by former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle.

The entire incident was caught on amateur video by spectators who were on-board a crowded train stopped at the station.

Pirone was among the officers who were summoned to the East Oakland station by the train operator who reported to BART Central Control that there was a fight between two groups on-board her train.

Pirone, and his former partner, Marysol Domenici, began pulling the involved parties off the train and corralling them against a station platform.

During pre-trial hearings, Pirone testified that Grant “had brought the situation onto himself.” He publicly criticized the dead man for not complying with law enforcement orders.

But Pirone’s actions have come under the microscope too.

In one amateur video obtained by local television station KTVU, Pirone is seen striking Grant with his fist or forearm — an act reported on by the TV news station and heavily criticized by community members who saw the move as unnecessary, especially before Grant would be shot and killed by another BART officer.

Pirone’s attorney, Bill Rappaport, defended his client saying that Grant had attempted to knee the officer in the groin. Rappaport said that Pirone was soley trying to defend himself by striking Grant using a defensive move.

John Burris, the attorney retained by the Grant estate, claimed that the video evidence did not back up those claims. He called Pirone one of the primary aggressors who heightened tensions between police and Grant by using racial epithets that ultimately led to the shooting incident.

Pirone has been with the transit police force for X years. Before he joined BART Police, he was a police officer for Lawrence Livermore Labs, and a U.S. Marine.

On Mar. 25, 2010, his partner Domenici was fired by BART Police for her performance during the New Year’s Day incident. Pirone’s uncertain future with the department has yet to be determined, but an independent report completed by law firm Meyers Nave recommended that he be terminated from the force.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By California Beat | 25 Jun 2010 | Comments Off]

The following is a transcript of all of the released clips from BART Police dispatch communications recordings from the night of the shooting of Oscar Grant by Johannes Mehserle, as made available Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The corresponding individual audio clips made available on Thursday have been inserted into the appropriate places in the transcript.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Steven Luo | 24 Jun 2010 | Comments Off]

Clips from BART Police dispatch recordings during the events leading up to the shooting of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant by former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle on the Fruitvale BART platform in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009 were made available Thursday by the Los Angeles Superior Court.

The dispatch communications clips record some of the radio chatter amongst police officers who responded to reports of a fight aboard a Dublin/Pleasanton-bound train that night.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Tashina Manyak | 23 Jun 2010 | Comments Off]

(6/24) — UPDATED 01:42 PDT — LOS ANGELES — An expert witness brought to the stand by the defense for Johannes Mehserle, the former BART Police officer being tried for murder in the shooting of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009, said Wednesday that videos of the incident showed that Grant and his friends were behaving aggressively that night, not BART Police officers.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Tashina Manyak | 18 Jun 2010 | Comments Off]
Former BART Police Officer Tony Pirone seen at the Fruitvale BART station on witness video. (COURTESY PHOTO)

(6/18) — UPDATED 23:41 PDT — LOS ANGELES — A figure both central and controversial for his role in the incident that led to Oscar Grant’s death, Anthony Pirone took to the witness stand Friday in the trial for a fellow BART officer accused of second-degree murder for fatally shooting Grant last year.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Tashina Manyak | 17 Jun 2010 | Comments Off]
Former BART Police Officer Marysol Domenici (Courtesy Karina Vargas via YouTube)

(6/17) — UPDATED 23:36 PDT — LOS ANGELES — Former BART Police Officer Marysol Domenici, whose role in the events leading up to the shooting of unarmed BART passenger Oscar Grant by former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle has sparked controversy, took the witness stand Thursday in Mehserle’s second-degree murder trial.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Tashina Manyak | 15 Jun 2010 | 2 Comments]
Cephus Johnson tells reporters Mehserle did not accidentally draw his gun after firearms experts testify in court today. (Jennifer Courtney/CALIFORNIA BEAT)

(6/15) — UPDATED 19:55 PDT — LOS ANGELES — Firearms training was in the spotlight Tuesday as experts testified that movements made by former BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle to release the weapon holstered at his right hip were inconsistent with the proper way to draw a gun.

Mehserle is charged with second degree murder for fatally shooting unarmed BART passenger Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Tashina Manyak | 15 Jun 2010 | Comments Off]
Sophina Mesa speaks with a member of John Burris' legal team outside the Los Angeles courtroom where opening trials took place June 10. Burris is representing Grant's family in a civil suit against BART. (Jennifer Courtney/CALIFORNIA BEAT)

(6/15) — 00:55 PDT — LOS ANGELES — One of BART shooting victim Oscar Grant’s friends described Monday the events leading up to the New Year’s Day 2009 shooting as witness testimony in the second-degree murder trial of Johannes Mehserle, the former BART Police officer who shot Grant, continued.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Jennifer Courtney | 14 Jun 2010 | Comments Off]
From right to left, Aron Mallory, Eric Ares and Aidge Patterson protest in front of the Clara Shortridge Fritz Criminal Justice Center June 14. (Jennifer Courtney/CALIFORNIA BEAT)

(6/14) — 15:30 PDT — LOS ANGELES — Protesters in support of Oscar Grant, the the 22-year-old man shot and killed by former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, interrupted a dueling demonstration organized by Michael Jackson fans this afternoon in front of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on a day that attracted media attention from around the world at the Downtown Los Angeles Courthouse.

The side-by-side protests remained peaceful with no arrests reported, but about 20 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies blocked off the main entrance stairway in front of the courthouse at 2 p.m. after Grant supporters began to chant “Justice for Oscar Grant!” during a press conference held to discuss a judge’s decision to allow Dr. Conray Murray to keep his medical license.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Tashina Manyak | 11 Jun 2010 | Comments Off]
Grant's uncle Cephus Johnson answers questions on witness Jamil Dewar and what it felt like to watch amateur video, following today's court session. (Jennifer Courtney)

(6/11) — UPDATED 22:40 PDT — LOS ANGELES — A young friend of Oscar Grant broke down in tears on the witness stand today as video he filmed of Grant’s shooting by former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle was played for a Los Angeles jury.

And multiple witnesses who took the stand on the second day of Mehserle’s second-degree murder trial said Grant did not resist arrest before the former officer shot him.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Tashina Manyak | 10 Jun 2010 | Comments Off]
Aidge Patterson and other activists with the LA Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant gather outside the Downtown Los Angeles courthouse where opening statements were held in the second-degree murder trial against Johannes Mehserle.

(6/10) — 23:30 PDT — LOS ANGELES — Opening statements were presented in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday morning in the historic second-degree murder trial of former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who shot unarmed BART passenger Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009.

The trial marks the first time a police officer in California has been tried for murder for a killing committed while on duty.