This weekend the movie Fruitvale Station opens up nationwide..Its the true story of Bay Area resident Oscar Grant who was brutally murdered Jan 1 2009 by an out of control transit cop named Johannes Mehserle.. For folks in Oakland and the Bay Area, Oscar’s death which was caught on tape by multiple cameras was a shock, especially 3 weeks before the inauguration of the nation’s first Black president Barack Obama..
His murder led to 18 long months of protests, organizing and agitating resulting in a conviction of Mehserle..Sadly, he served less than two years thanks to the bias rulings of a pro-cop Los Angeles judge named Robert Perry who every step of the way manipulated things to favor this renegade cop.
The movie Fruitvale Station is powerful, gripping, moving and healing.. Director Ryan Coogler deserves lots of praise for doing a movie that focused on Grant’s last 24 hours.. It highlighted his humanity and the relationships he had with his family, friends, fiance and daughter..This was lost during the trial and the protests, many forgot or never really got to know who Oscar was flaws, good parts and all..Actors Michael B Jordan, Melonie Diaz and Octavia Spencer bring their A game to this flick and give us lots to grow on.
After the Oakland premier, I got a chance to host an incredible panel discussion, featuring all the cast members and key folks who worked magic behind the scenes like famed actor Forest Whitaker.. Our convo was wide-ranging and compelling as we discussed everything from their inspiration as actors to the impact police brutality has had on their personally.. Click the link below to peep what was said..