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Digital Afro Media
Oscar Grant Film 'Highlights Racial Tensions'
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Category: Black News

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After George Zimmerman was acquitted in the Trayvon Martin case, a film about the death of another unarmed black man is released.

The mother of a young black man, whose high-profile death sparked protests similar to those over the killing of Trayvon Martin, has told Sky News that America is failing to tackle the problem of racial profiling.

Oscar Grant was shot and killed by a transport police officer in Oakland, California, on New Year’s Eve in 2008 as he lay restrained on the ground.

His killing was filmed by passengers on a waiting metro train and it led to days of riots in the city east of San Francisco.

The officer, who claimed he was reaching for his Taser and grabbed his gun by mistake, was later cleared of murder, prompting more protests.

Now, with America again debating the role of race in the justice system, a movie about Oscar Grant’s killing is about to be released nationwide.

Fruitvale Station, named after the metro stop where he died, stars Michael B Jordan and Octavia Spencer, and was lauded at the Sundance Film Festival.

Oscar’s mother Wanda Johnson says the film was painful to watch but contains an important message.

She told Sky News: “An African-American or a brown life doesn’t matter to the judicial system so we want people to know that their lives, our lives, matter and that they are loved.”

She said Oscar’s family wanted the movie to be made, adding: “They say time heals wounds but it was still very fresh. I almost cried through the whole movie.”

The officer who killed Oscar was released after serving 10 months in a county jail for involuntary manslaughter.

Oscar’s family was represented by celebrated civil rights lawyer John Burris, who also appeared for police beating victim Rodney King and rapper Tupac.

He said: “Trayvon Martin’s case has created this real fear among vast majority of the African-American community, particularly mothers, that their son could be accosted by some gun-toting vigilante and shot and killed and there’d be no justification and no vindication for it.

http://news.sky.com/story/1118150/oscar-grant-film-highlights-racial-tensions

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