SPEAK OUT Thursday, April 9, 9am / BART Says Officers Pirone & Domenici "acted appropriately" re. Oscar Grant / Come to BART Board Meeting Thurs, April 9, 9am* * * PLEASE DO FORWARD WIDELYESPECIALLY SINCE THIS IS A DAYTIME EVENT * * *As if the murder and cover-up of Oscar Grant's execution weren't outrageous enough, now BART attorneys claim that Officers Tony Pirone and Marysol Domenici were not at fault in the shooting of Oscar Grant. They even say Oscar would have beaten THEM -- that Oscar would have beaten the police -- if they hadn't acted with the force they used.BART is trying to separate itself from the murder of Oscar Grant and act like now it's just between the District Attorney and former BART Officer Mehserle. BART is also trying to influence those criminal proceedings by publicizing evidence before Mehserle even goes back to court. Well, no matter how many hundreds of thousands of dollars they spend on "research," how many public meetings they hold (when most people can't attend because we have jobs), or how much they try to appease people with promises of change - we haven't seen anything yet. And this latest maneuver claiming that the officers were in danger is outrageous!Fire Police Gee - for cover-up and incompetenceFire Tony Pirone - for brutality at the very leastFire Dorothy Duggar - for complicity in the whole thingHold Accessible Public MeetingsNot only have not of these demands presented at a previous BART Board Meeting been met -- the clearing of Pirone is an outright slap in the face.Come to speak out at:BART Board Room, 3rd FloorKaiser Center 20th Street Mall (near Harrison)344-20th Street, OaklandOfficers not all at fault in Oscar Grant's death, attorney saysBy Paul T. RosynskyOakland TribunePosted: 04/03/2009 12:57:36 PM PDTUpdated: 04/03/2009 04:34:29 PM PDThttp://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_12065114Related LinksDocument: BART answer to complaint (http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_12065213)Oakland BART shooting: Full coverage (http://www.insidebayarea.com/oakland-bart-shooting)OAKLAND — At least two BART police officers accused of contributing to the death of Oscar Grant on New Year's Day were simply trying to defend themselves against an unruly passenger, an attorney representing BART said in court filings Friday.Responding to a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit filed against BART, attorneys for the transportation agency said that Officers Anthony Pirone and Marysol Domenici acted appropriately when they restrained Grant at the Fruitvale BART station.BART also admits, in the filings, that Grant's death was a "tragic accident," but refuses to determine liability because all the facts of the case have not been presented.Grant was killed by former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, 27, during the early morning hours on New Years Day at the Fruitvale BART station. Mehserle, who is charged with murder in Grant's death, shot the 22-year-old as he lay prone on the platform with both hands behind his back.Mehserle's criminal defense attorneys have argued in court filings that Mehserle intended to use his Taser on Grant but grabbed, and used, his handgun by mistake. They also said that Mehserle was responding to a violent Grant who had already attacked a fellow officer and was resisting arrest.In the lawsuit response filed in U.S. District Court, BART also claims that the BART officers were acting in self-defense. Had they not responded with force against Grant, the former grocery store worker would have beaten them, the lawsuit states."Oscar Grant willfully, wrongfully, unlawfully made an assault upon defendants and would have beaten, bruised and ill-treated them if defendants had not immediately defended themselves," the lawsuit states. "Defendants necessarily and unavoidably came in contact with decedent Oscar Grant and threatened him but no more than necessary for said defense."BART does not take a position on Mehserle and instead wants to reach a settlement with the Grant family before the case goes to trial."The actions involving Mr. Mehserle and Mr. Grant resulted in a tragedy," said Dale Allen, the attorney representing BART. "It was a tragic shooting and at this time, I don't have any information whatsoever as to what Mr. Mehserle is going to say in his defense."But others, including Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff, do not believe Mehserle had justification for shooting. Orloff filed the criminal charges against Mehserle, saying the former officer killed Grant with malice.John Burris, who filed the $50 million lawsuit against BART on behalf of Grant's family, said he was not surprised by BART's response."It does not alter my thinking or assessment of the case. I have witnesses and a number of videos that support the position that Oscar Grant was wrongfully killed," Burris said. "No jury is going to find that (Grant) is responsible for this officer... shooting him."Reach Paul T. Rosynsky at prosynsky@bayareanewsgroup.com or 510-208-6455

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