Fruitvale Station, directed and written by Ryan Coogler, reenacts the days leading up to the shooting of unarmed 22 year-old Oscar Grant of Oakland, California. The real-life shooting took place in Oakland, California at the Fruitvale subway station on New Years Day 2009. Grant, a young black male, was taking the BART train back home to Oakland after celebrating New Years Eve in San Francisco. When the train stopped at Fruitvale, supposedly 12 people under the influence got into a brawl. The BART police pulled Grant off the train along with several others involved in the altercation. They were initially handcuffed and lined up against the wall of the station’s platform.
Shaky pixelated cellphone footage of the scene was captured by passengers on the train. It shows a squirming Grant lying on the ground with his hands placed behind his back, not resisting arrest. With two BART police officers standing over him, Grant tries to stand up, but 27 year-old officer Johannes Mehserle shoots him in the back.
This is Ryan Coogler’s directorial debut. After his film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, it sparked a distribution bitting war that ultimately was won by The Weinstein Company.
Fruitvale Station hits selected theaters Friday. Peep the trailer below.