The Frustration of Fruitvale Station

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The film ‘Fruitvale Station’ has been the cause of a lot of recent debate concerning police brutality. The movie is loosely based on the true story of the murder of Oscar Grant New Year’s night of 2009. Grant was shot by police officer Johannes Mehserle. Although the film depicts Grant’s death as an act of murder, in real life Mehserle was charged with involuntary manslaughter and only served two years in prison. The sentencing sparked protests but proves that police brutality is still an issue today. The film is an excellent example of how justice is not often served in cases like this.

(Photo: Courtesy of The Oscar Grant Foundation)

Other movies, like Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing,’ show that police brutality, in certain areas, still goes under the radar completely unpunished. Since the occurrence at Fruitvale Station takes place more recently, witnesses were able to capture what took place on cell phones and cameras. Many people are questioning the truth behind the movie but whether some of the small details have been exaggerated or completely fabricated does not change the fact that a man was wrongfully shot by the police. If nothing else the film serves as a conduit for audiences to investigate the facts of the matter themselves. Hopefully, with films like Fruitvale Station proving that police brutality is still relevant and is a punishable crime, unlawful police brutality will diminish in the near future.

by, Dylan Frand

 

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3 Comments

  1. Soo Hyun N.

     /  October 9, 2013

    After reading this, I watched the trailer of the movie and the particular scenes that were stuck in my head were when people were capturing all the moments live on their cameras. It just made me think of how these types of unlawful police brutality were dealt with when portable cameras weren’t even accessible. It is just hard to fathom that even with the evidence of people filming the situation that the police officer only served two years in prison.. I should definitely see the whole film soon. Thank you for the post.

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  2. Dorit

     /  October 17, 2013

    I saw this a few weeks back – everyone in the theater was crying their eyes out. I couldn’t cry, I just sat there watching familiar truth happen on screen. I didn’t shed a tear until I was on the train headed home, but they weren’t angry tears so much as tears of longing and missing. This film brought back such intense memories of growing up, of police confrontations, of experiences that made us realize too young that those in uniform aren’t always there to help – sometimes the uniform is really just a costume disguising complexes of power and brutality. I don’t think it matters a bit if certain things were more or less true in this film – it doesn’t boast being a documentary. The performances are beautiful and the messages universal.

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  3. Tali

     /  October 18, 2013

    Indeed, this is an important story to tell and be brought the wider public. Not many people know about this event, which actually is one of many the occur too often on different streets in every city. The film is not a documentary, though based on a real story. The main issue is bringing up the abuse of strength and relationship of the law and citizens. If this movie, and conversations such as the ones we’re having, are the result – more movies like this should be made. Thanks for presenting it and also for talking about Spike Lee who has a great deal of contributions in this respect.

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