California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said Saturday that he would dispatch a state prosecutor to monitor Alameda County’s probe of the Jan. 1 slaying of an unarmed man by a transit police officer.

Brown said an unnamed attorney from his office would act as independent observer over the investigation being conducted by Alameda County prosecutors.

Local prosecutors, Oakland police and Bay Area Rapid Transit investigators are trying to determine why BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle shot Oscar Grant, 22.

Anger has risen as grainy video of the shooting has been played repeatedly on TV and the Internet, while the officer has not been charged with any crime.


Brown made the announcement after meeting Saturday with state and local black leaders in his Oakland office. The attorney general said he understood the frustration with the pace of the criminal investigation but was hesitant to intervene in the inquiry.

Brown added that he wasn’t trying to second-guess Alameda County Dist. Atty. Tom Orloff but felt “he needs to be aware that things have to move in this case.”