April 23rd, 2010
03:27 AM ET

Another officer connected to fatal shooting loses job

Another officer connected to a fatal shooting of an unarmed man on a California train platform lost his job, authorities said Thursday.

Tony Pirone was one of several officers on the scene in Oakland when another officer fatally shot the man in the back on New Year's Day last year.

A Bay Area Rapid Transit train system interim chief did not release details on why Pirone left the BART police force. A brief statement was posted on the train system's website.

"I have announced to my staff that Officer Tony Pirone is no longer employed by the District," Interim Police Chief Daschel Butler said. "Mr. Pirone's last day of employment was (Thursday)."

This statement comes a month after BART officials announced that Marysol Domenici, another officer on the scene during the shooting, had lost her job.

The shooting of Oscar Grant, 22, was captured on a bystander's cell-phone video camera. The video was widely circulated on the internet and on news shows, and spurred several protests and riots in and around Oakland.

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Filed under: Justice • U.S.
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Terrell

    The video clearly showed Oscar Grant on the ground, subdued with several officers around. There was no resistance. Johannes Mehserle took out his side-arm and fired once into Oscar Grant, killing him. There was no justifiable reason for this. It doesn't matter what was going on before the video started rolling, there are rules of engagement and those rules were blatantly broken. Johannes Mehserle was charged and later arrested in Nevada (after fleeing there supposedly out of fear for his life). He was extradited to California. There have been several court procedings about this case, the murder trial is set to begin June 1, 2010. If you don't know, now you know.

    April 23, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dookie

    It all started because of a fight from two different parties on the train that the victim was a part of. Cops showed up and detained some, the place got rowdy and while trying to taze the victim, he accidentally pulled his real gun and shot the guy in the back.

    April 23, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. HAPD

    Thank God our laws in this country are about Justice, and not run by those on CNN boards. Admittedly, CNN doesn't help by not describing the initial scene.
    This was an ACCIDENT. The man was still struggling, kicking, (spitting?), etc when on the ground and the officer meant to TASE him and pulled the wrong weapon and fired.
    Grounds for that officer to be fired? YES. Grounds for a MURDER Charge? NO. People die in accidents all the time and this was one. Cops have it hard enough and this was tragic and maybe even negligent.
    Many of the posters here are why cops have to watch their backs on the street and why their stress and alcoholism rates are so high. No appreciation and when a mistake is made, the public is out to get them.

    April 23, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      gun on one side, taser on the other side? I hope the jury doesn't say "Justifiable homicide"

      July 3, 2010 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
    • cnnwhynow

      I respect your opinion , and agree , but if someone killed your love one, and you have a tape to show what happened, and they continue to deny that they did nothing wrong. How do you reconcile that with the fact that a your love one lost their life???? You can't sir, and I think police have the toughest jobs in America, but there has to be some professionalism going on here, and to simply dismiss a weapon draw for a taser, is not feasable or adequate.

      July 12, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. Just Sayn

    They should have been arrested and charged as accomplises. Publicizing their names is good enough in the absence of true justice. They'll be hard pressed to find work in law enforcement–or, hopefully so.

    April 23, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. HoJo

    What happened, supposedly, is that while handcuffing the man he was fighting back and when the cops forced him to the ground he started kicking them. One cop said he reached for his taser gun and by accident grabbed his lethel gun and shot him, killing him. The shooter is going to trial for it, I don't know what the charges are, the other cops who were present are being fired mostly because they were there when it happened.

    April 23, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. ragingbear

    So, they fired a couple of cops over the shooting.....what about a TRIAL???? What happens now?

    April 23, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. notsure

    so let me get this straight, if im at work and someone im working with does something wrong, i should have to lose my job for them even though i didnt do it? even if i was just doing my job?

    April 23, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • rab

      If you're white you are gone!

      July 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. THE Expert on Commentators Who Lack Credibility

    ATTENTION ALL THOSE WHO PLAN TO COMMENT: To avoid annoying those who want to read credible comments, please Google the original news story AND view associated videos prior to expressing your opinion. Those of you who haven't done this are merely hacks (please Google THAT word if you think it means a way to cheat video games).

    April 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CID NY

    This is crap these officers should be charged with murder. Tons of black men are harassed by police officers everyday but if you contest their methods you're hit with that "police are all heroes" cliche. I'm not saying there are only bad cops out there and none are good, the truth is many in law enforcement fall in between and there are plenty that lean closer to the bad end of the spectrum than good.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. T Ro

    An unarmed man was shot in the back. I usually lean to the side of the police, but come on – he couldn't tell a revolver from a taser. He simply made a mistake????

    People all over this country are tried and convicted for making mistakes. If someone loses control of their car and runs over someone else – they are charged with a crime. It was only an accident, and some posters here think accidents should be simply forgotten about. Maybe fire the employee, but no criminal charges. I simply can't agree with that logic, simply because it isn't logical.

    Oops, I meant to grab my pea shooter, but got it mixed up with my handgun – sorry you are dead! It was just an accident. That just doesn't wash.

    And many wonder why some citizens want to reduce the number of guns in our society. Event the police can't handle them correctly.

    April 24, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. JOSE MISTER JOE

    NUMBER ONE DA PROFESSOR YOU DEFINATELY SHOULD SEEK OUT HELP, FOR YOUR BRAIN DISORDER. NOW AS THIS YOUNG OFFICER HE CLAIMS HE MISTOOK HIS TASER FOR HIS SERVICE WEAPON, I HAVE ONLY ONE PROBLEM WITH THAT,IF YOU CANT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIS TASER AND HIS WEAPON THEN THERE IS SOMETHING TERRIBLY WRONG WITH THIS OFFICER AND SHOULD NOT BE INVOLVE IN ANY TYPE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT JOB. THE WEIGHT ALONE SHOULD OF TOLD HIM HE WAS HOLDING THE WRONG WEAPON,IT'S TIME TO RUN TO THE HILLS WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE AS THIS PERSON CARRYING A GUN, VERY SCARY,INDEED.

    July 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Oliver S

    I'm pretty sure that I would be tried and convicted if I shot a police officer and killed him, even if it was an "accident" (and I thought I was just reaching out to shake his hand, hand him a banana or some such BS..). We're supposed to all be equal in America, right? Right? Ha!

    July 7, 2010 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
    • rab

      No we are not equal..forget that bs

      July 8, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. brand,j

    Yeah he screwed up and pulled his gun instead of his tazer but not all cops are like that....If you don't like cops then the next time your in trouble call a crack head and see what that gets you!!!

    July 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TexVet

    I think this cop just got freaked out by the whole situation....especially all that yelling and screaming by the bystanders. I definitely think that contributed to this horrible incident.

    July 9, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. Redd

    My only wish is that other departments around the country should follow this model. When an individual dons a police uniform, they are no longer deemed a average citizen. They are given the power over law and order as well as life and death. Due to these reasons, with more power comes more responsibility, as well as penalties. You can not view a policeperson's action based on what you would have done. They are held on a higher plane of restraint due to the possession of firearms and the ability to arrest. The biggest problem officers face is to truly separate their personal feelings from their line of work. It's pretty much when a priest vows to celibacy. It's something that must go hand in hand with the profession.

    July 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
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