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Outside agency to probe shooting by BART officer

The investigation will determine whether all officers involved in the death of an unarmed man on New Year's Day violated transit agency policies.

January 30, 2009|associated press

An outside party will take over the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency's investigation of all officers involved in the shooting of an unarmed man at a train station platform, BART officials said Thursday.

Oscar Grant, 22, was fatally shot in the back while lying face down at the Fruitvale station early New Year's Day.

Alameda County prosecutors have charged former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle with murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

The investigation will determine whether officers violated department policies and practices.

It has not been decided which third party will take over the investigation.

The attorney for Grant's family on Thursday called for BART Police Chief Gary Gee to be fired for circulating a memo telling officers how they can send Mehserle money, food, books and visit him in jail.

"It is unacceptable for the police chief, who ostensibly is investigating Mehserle and other officers . . . to encourage officers to visit and make financial contributions to Mehserle," said attorney John Burris, who is representing the Grant family in a wrongful-death claim against the transit agency.

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