The Alameda County (CA) District Attorney announced Monday she has agreed to reopen the investigation into the 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant following demands from the family to charge a former BART officer who was there when Grant was killed more than a decade ago, KTVU reports.
"We have listened closely to the requests of the family of Oscar Grant," DA Nancy O'Malley said in a statement. "The murder of Oscar Grant greatly impacted the county and the state. My Office conducted the intensive investigation that led to the prosecution of BART Officer Johannes Mehserle for the crime of Murder. The trial occurred in Los Angeles due to a change of venue ordered by the court on the motion of the defense. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles jury only found Officer Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter. We are re-opening our investigation. I have assigned a team of lawyers to look back into the circumstances that caused the death of Oscar Grant. We will evaluate the evidence and the law, including the applicable law at the time and the statute of limitations and make a determination.”
Then-BART Officer Johannes Mehserle was the one who pulled the trigger on Grant, as he lay on his stomach on the platform. Mehserle, who along with other officers had been sent there after a fight on a train was reported, claimed he had mistakenly grabbed his gun instead of his Taser when he shot Grant.
Mehserle was charged with murder but convicted by a Los Angeles County jury of a lesser charge, involuntary manslaughter. He served 11 months in prison and was released in June 2011.
Last year, an independent report and video said that another former BART officer, Anthony Pirone, hit Grant in the head and kneed him.
Pirone is reportedly the target of the new investigation.
A legal analyst contacted by KTVU called the DA's decision to reopen the investigation as "political" and said the statute of limitations has passed on any likely charge.