Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley has opted not to file new charges against former police officer Anthony Pirone. Pirone was the second officer connected to the killing of Oscar Grant in 2009. O'Malley declined to charge Pirone because she did not feel that she had a strong enough case to convict the former police officer.
"In view of everything we have considered -- and reconsidered -- we conclude that we cannot prove Pirone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," the district attorney said.
Grant was shot and killed at Fruitvale Station in Oakland on New Year's Day in 2009. Officers claimed Grant was involved in an altercation while on the train. Officers then removed Grant from the train and placed him face-first on the platform as Pirone held him in position. Pirone's former colleague, Johannes Mehserle, approached Grant. As he approached Grant, Mehserle pulled his weapon and shot Grant as he laid face-first on the ground. Grant was rushed to Highland Hospital before being pronounced dead. More than a year later, Mehserle stood trial and was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
"We are extremely disappointed with this verdict. The verdict is not a true representative of what happened to Oscar Grant and what the officer did to him that night. This is not an involuntary manslaughter case. This is a true compromise verdict that does not truly and accurately reflect the facts, and we are extraordinarily disappointed at that," Grant family attorney Jon Burris said after a jury delivered the verdict in 2010.
"We believe this was a murder case, a second-degree murder. We are surprised that the jury came back as quickly as they did and seem to be very dismissive of the murder charge and the voluntary manslaughter."
Grant's memory has lived on in popular culture through Ryan Coogler's debut feature film, Fruitvale Station, and the bestselling novel, The Hate U Give.
Had he not been shot and killed, Grant would have turned 35 years old next month.
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