Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer is reportedly in negotiations to play the role of Oscar Grant's mother in the upcoming film about the New Year's Day 2009 killing of the Oakland man. Spencer is best known for her role as Minny in the 2011 film The Help.
The film, titled Fruitvale, will detail the final hours before Grant was shot and killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle after he got off the train at the Fruitvale station in Oakland, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The shooting was video-recorded by other passengers, making it one of the most emotionally charged officer-involved shootings in Oakland's recent history. Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, but was released from prison on good behavior after serving 11 months of his two-year sentence.
The film, being written and directed by Oakland resident Ryan Coogler, is set to air in July.
Coogler grew up in Oakland and Richmond and graduated
from St. Mary's College High School in Berkeley, according to the Reporter.
John Burris, the attorney who represented Grant's family, told reporters that he hopes this film will show everyone that Grant was a good person.
"I hope the story is a positive one that gives kids some inspiration
that you can turn your life around," Burris said. "On the other hand,
you still have to be careful. Even if you're doing good, bad things can
still happen to you. It's sad, but it's a reality all African-American