Sunday, June 20, 2010

Officer Testifies In BART Shooting - "Meant to use his stun gun"

Jun 17, 2010

LOS ANGELES -- A former Bay Area transit police officer on Thursday had trouble remembering key details of the events leading up to the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a fellow officer on an Oakland train platform.

Marysol Domenici, who was fired in March from Bay Area Rapid Transit, testified that when she heard the gunshot - she described sounding like "a firework" go off - she wasn't sure who may have been injured.

By the reaction of officers, "I knew it wasn't one of us," Domenici said. "No one had their guns out."

Domenici was the first officer who responded to the New Year's Day 2009 shooting and was called to testify at the trial of Johannes Mehserle, who is white and has pleaded not guilty to killing Oscar Grant, 22.

On direct examination by Deputy District Attorney Dave Stein, Domenici couldn't recall information she provided at a preliminary hearing last year. Stein read portions of her previous testimony in which she said she heard Grant and his friends tell her and other officers they were scared of being shot with a Taser stun gun.

"I don't remember them saying the tasing part, but I do remember them cooperating," Domenici said.

Mehserle's attorney has said his client meant to use his stun gun instead of his .40-caliber weapon. Stein has argued that Mehserle, 28, intended to shoot Grant and used his weapon because officers were losing control of the situation.

Domenici said she also didn't remember Grant grabbing her arm minutes before he was shot, but she said a video taken by a bystander showed it. Stein played the tape in court and the grainy resolution couldn't confirm Domenici's account.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seattle Office Punches Teenage Girl Jaywalking Suspect In Face

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle police say they'll review police tactics and training after an officer was shown on video punching a young woman in the face.

Acting deputy police chief Nick Metz said Tuesday that the department's civilian-led Office of Professional Accountability is investigating the 39-year-old officer's actions.

Officer Ian P. Walsh was trying to cite several people for jaywalking just before Monday's incident, which was captured on cell phone video.

Metz says two of the women who were stopped bear much of the responsibility for not cooperating and resisting arrest.

Seattle Urban League CEO James Kelly says the punch was an overreaction that brought to mind a video taken April 17 of two Seattle officers seen kicking a Hispanic suspect.