By Terry Collins
OAKLAND, Calif. — A man fatally shot by a transit officer on a train platform could have prevented his death had he obeyed orders, an officer who witnessed the shooting testified Wednesday.
Officer Marysol Domenici said 22-year-old passenger Oscar Grant was uncooperative as Bay Area transit officers tried to detain him and his friends after a fight on a train from San Francisco.
"If they would've followed orders, this wouldn't have happened," Domenici testified. "They probably would've just been cited and released."
Former transit officer Johannes Mehserle shot Grant in the back as he lay face down on a platform early New Year's Day. He has pleaded not guilty, and the court hearing will determine whether he will stand trial for murder.
Mehserle's lawyer, Michael Rains, has said the officer meant to pull his stun gun when he accidentally grabbed his pistol. Previous witnesses have testified Mehserle reacted with surprise when Grant was shot.
Domenici's testimony about Grant drew gasps and sighs from Grant's family and friends in the courtroom.
"Are you trying to suggest it was his fault?" Deputy District Attorney David Stein asked Domenici during a contentious cross-examination.
"If he had just sat down, he'd been fine," Domenici said to more audible sighs.
Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson, said after the hearing that Domenici's comments show "she has no regards for human life. For my son's life."
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The hearing will resume next Wednesday.