The Killing Of Oscar Grant: Fruitvale Station

“Fruitvale Station,” a heart-wrenching and hauntingly detailed portrayal of Grant’s last day alive.

Oscar Grant III, 22, was shot in the back by Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle on New Years Day in 2009.

Grant was unarmed, and restrained. He died in an area hospital later that morning.

As word spread rapidly in the Bay Area, cell phone videos of the shooting also hit the internet. Angry residents demanded action be taken and that Mehserle be arrested.

The docudrama, "Fruitvale Station", made by 26-year-old filmmaker Ryan Coogler, profiled last week in the New York Times, has already garnered top awards from this year's Sundance Film Festival, where it was titled "Fruitvale." The movie will open in select theaters July 12 and nationwide on July 26.

The trial of Mehserle, which was moved to Los Angeles, wound up with a jury that had no African Americans on it.

The verdict and sentencing:

They acquitted him on second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, but convicted him on charges of involuntary manslaughter.

Though involuntary manslaughter usually carries a four-year prison sentence, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry sentenced Mehserle to two years in state prison with 292 days of credit for time already served.

Mehserle was released from the Los Angeles county jail -- he was never sent to prison -- after serving only 11 months of his two-year sentence.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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