From The San Francisco Chronicle
Overlooked in the court hearing that ended in former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle being ordered tried for murder in the slaying of Oscar Grant was testimony about another officer’s explosive outburst just 30 seconds before Grant was shot.
One of the videos made by riders at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland early New Year’s Day caught Officer Tony Pirone standing over the prone Grant and yelling, “Bitch-ass n-.”
Pirone and his attorney say he was parroting an epithet that Grant first hurled at him – though Grant’s voice is not audible on the tape.
The sound-enhanced tape shows Pirone delivering a shoulder chop to Grant and bringing him to the ground. Pirone can be heard saying twice, “Bitch-ass n-, right?”
Prosecutors showed the tape in court on the last day of Mehserle’s preliminary hearing, but the headlines went to the judge’s decree hours later that there was enough evidence to send Mehserle to trial for murder.
Under questioning from Mehserle’s attorney Michael Rains, Pirone insisted it was Grant who had first “called me a bitch-ass n-.”
Asked if he had repeated the slur to Grant, Pirone testified: “I don’t remember, but it very well may have happened.”