Fruitvale Station and the Legacy of Oscar Grant

A closer look at the tragic shooting on New Year's Day 2009.

A Life Cut Short - The shooting of Oscar Grant by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police in 2009 gripped the nation and revived tense debate about excessive force by police in America. The tragic events leading up to his death are now the subject of the film Fruitvale Station, slated for limited release on July 12 and starring Michael B. Jordan. Keep reading for a closer look at the events of that fateful night and aftermath.  (Photo: Courtesy of The Oscar Grant Foundation) ?Britt Middleton

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A Life Cut Short - The shooting of Oscar Grant by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police in 2009 gripped the nation and revived tense debate about excessive force by police in America. The tragic events leading up to his death are now the subject of the film Fruitvale Station, slated for limited release on July 12 and starring Michael B. Jordan. Keep reading for a closer look at the events of that fateful night and aftermath. (Photo: Courtesy of The Oscar Grant Foundation) —Britt Middleton

New Year's Day, 2009 - In the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2009, 22-year old Oscar Grant and several other passengers were detained on the platform of Oakland's Fruitvale BART Station by police, who were responding to reports of a fight on a crowded train returning from San Francisco. Grant had been in San Francisco celebrating New Year's Eve with friends. (Photo: Courtesy of The Oscar Grant Foundation)

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New Year's Day, 2009 - In the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2009, 22-year old Oscar Grant and several other passengers were detained on the platform of Oakland's Fruitvale BART Station by police, who were responding to reports of a fight on a crowded train returning from San Francisco. Grant had been in San Francisco celebrating New Year's Eve with friends. (Photo: Courtesy of The Oscar Grant Foundation)

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The Scene of the Crime - Grant was restrained by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle and another officer and forced to the ground. According to witnesses, Mehserle yelled to the other officer that he was going to use a taser on Grant but instead pulled out his gun and shot him once in the back as he lay face down. Mehserle later said that in the chaos, he confused his gun for the taser. Grant later died at an Oakland hospital. (Photo: Courtesy of The Oscar Grant Foundation)

Photo By Photo: Courtesy of The Oscar Grant Foundation

Captured on Video - The horrific shooting was captured with cellphone cameras by bystanders watching the events unfold, and many uploaded the content online. In some angles, Grant can be seen sitting against a wall, and later holding his hands in the air as he speaks to officers. Videos also captured Grant being hit by an officer, who claimed he was resisting arrest, before being forced to the ground. (Photo: Courtesy of ABC7)

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Captured on Video - The horrific shooting was captured with cellphone cameras by bystanders watching the events unfold, and many uploaded the content online. In some angles, Grant can be seen sitting against a wall, and later holding his hands in the air as he speaks to officers. Videos also captured Grant being hit by an officer, who claimed he was resisting arrest, before being forced to the ground. (Photo: Courtesy of ABC7)

Racial Tensions Rise - The videos soon made their way to media outlets and other websites. As the chaotic scene was put on display, it recalled for many a painful period of police brutality against African-Americans reminiscent of the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles Police in 1991. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Racial Tensions Rise - The videos soon made their way to media outlets and other websites. As the chaotic scene was put on display, it recalled for many a painful period of police brutality against African-Americans reminiscent of the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles Police in 1991. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Protests - Protests calling for justice for Grant's death followed in Oakland. On the evening Jan. 7, 2009, police in riot gear deployed tear gas on a crowd of more than 500 protesters as a peaceful protest turned into demonstrators filling the streets of downtown area. Some demonstrators set dumpsters on fire, looted from businesses and smashed the windows of a police cruiser.  (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Protests - Protests calling for justice for Grant's death followed in Oakland. On the evening Jan. 7, 2009, police in riot gear deployed tear gas on a crowd of more than 500 protesters as a peaceful protest turned into demonstrators filling the streets of downtown area. Some demonstrators set dumpsters on fire, looted from businesses and smashed the windows of a police cruiser. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Grant Was Unarmed - Furor also arose as police did not search Grant or the other individuals for weapons. Grant was unarmed in the altercation. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Grant Was Unarmed - Furor also arose as police did not search Grant or the other individuals for weapons. Grant was unarmed in the altercation. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Photo By Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Cop Testifies in Calif. Train Shooting Trial - On Friday, former Bay area transit officer Johannes Mehserle, will continue his testimony in an L.A. courtroom. He’s facing murder charges for shooting an unarmed Black man, Oscar Grant, early New Year's Day 2009. Mehserle is pleading not guilty to murder, saying that the shooting was an accident.

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Criminal Trial and Sentencing for Mehserle - Following Grant's death, the focus shifted to the BART officer who shot him, Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle was fired from his post. On July 8, 2010, a court found Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of both second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter charges. He served one year of a two-year sentence and was released on June 13, 2011. (Photo: AP Photo/Cathleen Allison, File)

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Public Reaction to the Verdict - Following the verdict, demonstrators again took to the streets, although they were largely peaceful. In addition, the NAACP issued a public condemnation of the court's findings. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Legal Settlements for Grant's Family - Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson, settled for $1.3 million with BART and its officers in 2011, CBS San Francisco reported. In 2010, Sophina Mesa, the mother of Grant’s now 9-year-old daughter, Tatiana, reached a settlement on behalf of her child for $1.5 million. The Oscar Grant Foundation, a website dedicated to preserving Grant's legacy, provides resources about the case and Grant's life. (Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

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Critical Acclaim - While Fruitvale Station won't hit theaters until July, the movie has already garnered critical acclaim, winning the prestigious Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January. A theatrical trailer was released in May. (Photo: The Weinstein Company)

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Critical Acclaim - While Fruitvale Station won't hit theaters until July, the movie has already garnered critical acclaim, winning the prestigious Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January. A theatrical trailer was released in May. (Photo: The Weinstein Company)

Michael B. Jordan on his next move after Fruitvale Station:  - "I'm just reading a lot of scripts and taking a lot of meetings trying to figure out the best move.”   (Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images for Women In Film)

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Stepping Into Grant's Shoes - "The pressure of playing a real person is 100-times greater," Michael B. Jordan told the Huffington Post in January. "One day, his daughter is going to watch this movie. That was something I constantly thought about. His mom is going to watch this movie. I didn’t want to let anybody down." Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer plays Grant's mother, Wanda, in the movie. (Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images for Women in Film)

Photo By Photo: Mark Davis/Getty Images for Women In Film