03:26 - Source: CNN
The director behind 'Fruitvale Station'
CNN  — 

Following the reopening an investigation into the 2009 fatal police shooting of Oscar Grant, no charges will be brought against a second former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer, the Alameda County district attorney said in a statement Monday.

Grant was fatally shot on January 1, 2009, while lying face down on a platform at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland, California. Johannes Mehserle, the officer who shot Grant, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in July 2010.

Following demands from Grant’s family, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley reopened an investigation in October into another officer, Anthony Pirone, who was terminated following an internal investigation.

“In view of everything we have considered – and reconsidered – we conclude that we cannot prove Pirone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” O’Malley said.

“We condemn Pirone’s conduct but we cannot charge him with murder or any other crime.”

Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson-Morris, had called for Pirone to face charges for allegedly escalating the arrest that led to her son’s death.

According to a report prepared at the time, Pirone hit Grant and used profanity and the N-word during the incident, and later lied to investigators about Grant’s actions, claiming Grant hit Pirone’s partner and kicked Pirone in the groin.

“Although Pirone’s conduct was aggressive, utterly unprofessional and disgraceful, it did not rise to the mental state required for murder,” O’Malley said.

The district attorney said that there was no evidence to show that Pirone acted with an intention to kill or cause Mehserle to kill Grant, or that he might have known it would happen. For those reasons she could not bring charges against him, she said.

“Everyone on the platform that night was shocked that Mehserle suddenly pulled out his gun and shot Oscar Grant in the back. That included the hundreds of people on the BART trains who were watching and recording, as well as the other officers on the platform and the companions who were with Oscar Grant that night,” O’Malley said.

Pirone lied to investigators, report says

Pirone’s account of the New Year’s Day incident was directly contradicted by video evidence reviewed by investigators, according to a report written by a third-party law firm. The firm was hired to conduct an internal affairs investigation that “examined and analyzed the conduct and performance” of the officers involved in the shooting death of Grant, a Black 22-year-old father.

Pirone and his partner went to the Fruitvale station in response to reports of a fight on a train. Several men were taken off the train and lined up against a wall. Pirone then saw Grant walking between the train cars and used profanity to order him to get off the train.

Pirone told investigators he saw Grant “attacking” his partner. Pirone said he approached and Grant attempted to punch and kick him in the groin, at which point Pirone thought, “I’ve got a fight now.” Pirone said he felt he was “fighting for my life at this point.”

The report says none of this happened in the footage seen by investigators. They determined that Grant “did not appear to assault” Pirone’s partner, and that Pirone grabbed Grant and pushed him against the wall before punching him in the head. “There is no indication that Grant kneed Pirone in the groin as he claims.”

Later, Pirone forced Grant to sit back down before hitting Grant in the face with his left knee in an “unprovoked” attack. An autopsy would later suggest “the possible conclusion” that injuries Grant suffered to the face were due to the actions of Pirone, whose use of force, investigators wrote, “did not appear reasonable, justifiable or excusable.”

Pirone admitted to using the N-word during the encounter, but said it was in response to Grant directing the word at the BART officer.

Investigators ultimately called for Pirone to be fired because of his unwarranted use of force against Grant, his inappropriate use of language and untruthfulness about his own actions, among other policy violations.

CNN’s Amir Vera and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.