Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: FRUITVALE STATION: Post Film Impression
I went to see this film with a fellow film buff friend of mine after not having been to the theater damn near all Summer. With the Zimmerman murder trial quickly being forgotten and swept into the recesses of immediate consciousness of the people, here is a film that is yet another reminder and living testimony that speaks to the continual injustices levied upon Black Men in America today.
I thought I knew the story of Fruitvale but confused it with another shooting death in Florida of you guessed it another black youth. I vaguely recalled seeing the media coverage of the incident involving cops on the BART transit system of San Francisco where Oscar Grant III was murdered on the platform of Fruitvale Station by a police officer back in 2009.
This is a film I recommend everyone go and see. See it with your kids, with your family, with your loved ones, and with your friends. Words can’t fully express what I felt watching the struggle shown in the life of this 22 year old black man trying to do right. Trying to turn his life around and take care of his family and responsibilities. It seems like every time that happens a brother gets taken out.
By the end of the film my friend and I sat stuck in our seats watching the credits roll even after the other moviegoers had gotten up and left. This film spoke to my soul. I’m not ashamed to admit tears ran down both sides of my face seeing what took place with eyewitnesses and video recordings of the incident then knowing that the officer who murdered Oscar Grant got a grand total of 11 months for his killing.
Get your minds around that. Michael Vick received 2 years and the loss of an over $100 million dollar contract with the Falcons for “dogfighting”. A human being is murdered in front of many witnesses including fellow police officers by a police officer (who is supposed to serve and protect) and gets 11 months!!!!
Any suprises here? Trial moved, no black person on the jury, impossibly lenient sentence for outright murder because the murderer wore a uniform, badge, nightstick, taser, cuffs and handgun. He claims he mistakenly drew his gun thinking it was his taser. Give me a break!!! He drew his weapon for what purpose? The man was already handcuffed subdued and going nowhere and back up was right there.
Who forgets what side of their waist their gun is on? Trained officer doesn’t know he has a gun in his hand when he squeezes the trigger. Fuck that lying S.O.B and his mother. Anger, frustration, and hatred filled my chest like a overflowing pitcher for an unjust justice system that frees the murderers of black people as if it were a public service. Knowing that this actually happened makes it worse.
I feel alot of times people want to shield their eyes, ears, minds, and hearts from reality because it’s too much for them to face. It’s easier to tell oneself, it’s fiction and didn’t really happen or didn’t happen the way “they” say it did.
I as a black man know all to well that for me this is part of my existence every day that I’m alive and walk this earth. What are we to do when our lives are viewed and treated with so little regard? Why are our lives valued as less than that of dogs? Why are our victims of violence and outright murder blamed for their deaths and all consideration given to their murderers?
With every acquittal, or reduced sentence or “slap on the wrist” for the killers of black people in America I wonder how many more will it take before there is a mass violent uprising against the perpetrators? How many more innocent black lives have to be lost before we say enough?
If we aren’t safe and secure in our own persons walking the street or riding the subway then no one is safe. Everyone held a collective breath following the verdict of the Zimmerman trial fearing the worst. Much to the delight of the mainstream media and many Zimmerman supporters nothing happened.
Lip service, half hearted condolences and cliche’s tossed about like appetizers at a party while glossing over of the loss of life of another black youth was what we got. How in God’s name even with video showing the incident can a cop get off with 11 months for outright murder?
I bet if any of these black victims were white and/or the officers black we’d be talking about the death penalty for the officers not 11 months. This film should be up for best picture come award season. Oscar Grant III’s story was told in a poignant, truthful, factual and powerful way.
Fruitvale is an immediate must have for my film library once it’s out of the theaters.