Fruitvale Station tells the powerful true-life story of 22-year-old Oscar Grant III (played by Michael B.
Fruitvale Station tells the powerful true-life story of 22-year-old Oscar Grant III (played by Michael B. Jordan), who was shot and killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 2009. In the film, director Ryan Coogler gives us a glimpse into the last day of Oscar's life — and though the 27-year-old Bay Area native took some creative license with the plot, nearly all of the movie's details are impressively accurate. Here are some facts from Fruitvale Station that you may not have known:
The Pit Bull Incident
The character of Oscar Grant comes across as a man with a troubled past who is working hard to turn his life around. Throughout the film, we follow him as he comes to grips with a lot of the choices he's made and how he can make changes, especially as it's New Year's Eve. At one point in the movie, Oscar stops at a gas station and sees a stray pit bull roaming around the station. He pets and speaks to the dog before going back to filling up his tank, but once he turns around, he hears a car screech: the dog has been hit. In one of the most emotional scenes of the movie, a crying Oscar picks up the wounded animal, clutching it close to his chest and stroking its head as he begs for it to hold on. It's no use, though, as the dog succumbs to its injuries and Oscar gently closes its eyes before getting back into his car and driving away.
Coogler described the heart-wrenching moment to The Dissolve as one that could have happened to Oscar that day: "Sophina [Oscar's girlfriend] said Oscar was very introspective after he picked her up from work — like really, unusually introspective. He was bubbly and usually a people-pleaser trying to keep everybody happy, and when he picked her up, he was a little off. Also, she would talk about how he wanted to get them into a new place with a backyard. He liked dogs."
In actuality, the director took inspiration for the scene from someone close to him. He explained, "While I was writing the script, my little brother, Noah Coogler, told me he was at a gas station and he'd seen a pit bull get hit by a car, and he pulled it out of the street, and it died right in front of him. So I thought about that moment working for this film."
Get more real-life details from Fruitvale Station when you keep reading.