Fruitvale Station was a film that was released in 2013 by Ryan Coogler, that was based on the events that lead to the death of Oscar Grant. Oscar Grant was a young, African-American man who was killed by a white Bay Area Transit Police officer in Oakland, California. The movie is centralized around Oscar Grant’s life and how he spent the day before his death that marginalize what type of person he was. It was New Year’s Eve day, which also was his mother’s birthday. On this day, he decided that he was going to be a better son, boyfriend, and father to his young 4-year-old daughter. As the day goes on he encounters moments with old friends as well as old foes, which to his despise causes his ultimate death. While riding the BART after viewing the fireworks, he runs into an old customer that recognizes him and calls his name out. However, a former prison inmate from when Grant was in jail, intercepts his name and tries to fight him. This then leads to the BART police to get involved. While Grant is detained, and on the BART platform a white police officer shoots him in the back because he was unable to removed Grant’s right arm from underneath his body to handcuff him. Grant was unarmed and because of this was pronounced dead at the hospital. The police officer was a white male, and he claimed to mistakenly grab his gun instead of his taser.
Regarding our class, this movie draws the comparison to the video in which several African American parents express their concern for their young boys and police brutality. Oscar Grant’s mother, I am sure, had the same conversation with her son growing up. Especially given his reputation with the law. Like this movie, and like the video, this is a growing concern for many African American families. Nobody wants to have to go through the pain and suffering that Oscar Grant’s family had to endure on this day. We see so many stories in the news as of late of many instances in which police brutality is a growing problem amongst African Americans and just like Mr. Grants case, many police officers explain that they did not mean to grab their gun. This movie was used as a driving force to bring the issue of police brutality to light and to perhaps gain a different perspective of how much of a problem it really is.
Citations: All images came from google images Fruitvale Station