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July 11th, 2013
10:49 PM ET

Director of "Fruitvale Station" discusses parallels between Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin

Just three years ago, 22-year-old Oscar Grant lost his life at the hands of a police officer in Oakland, Calif. Now, Ryan Coogler is telling the story of that fateful night with his new film "Fruitvale Station." On Thursday evening, the 27-year-old director joined Piers Morgan for a live, face to face interview, during which he referenced assumed parallels between his story's main character and the late Trayvon Martin.

"Oscar was killed by law enforcement. Trayvon was killed by an ordinary citizen," he told the "Piers Morgan Live" host. "The biggest difference [with Martin] was somebody wasn't there to record what happened. With Oscar, several Bay Area citizens were on the platform that recorded it with their cell phones."

However, said Coogler, in both instances unarmed minorities lost their lives unnecessarily, a fact he finds concerning:

"Gun violence is the leading cause of death among young African-American males in this country."

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's interview with Ryan Coogler, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Charlene Mozee Harris

    It seems that when an African-American young person is murdered, the reason can be trivial. When young Emmett Till was murdered in the late 1950's, he was said to have whistled at a white woman. If that was true, that was a trivial reason. To the men who did it, it was outrageous and worthy of a brutal beating death. Trayvon was walking home minding his own business, being followed by a man who "suspected" him of something. Being armed with courage, he followed and caused a confrontation which resulted in the death of an innocent African-American young man. Trivial matter exacerbated by pre-conceived image of black youth.

    July 12, 2013 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Tamika Davis

    Now that the jury is deliberating, I hang my head low and pray that there is JUSTICE for Trayvon Martin and hopes that his family will finally get a bit of closure to this awful and avoidable tragedy. R.I.P. TRAYVON!!!!

    July 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Stevenovic1

    I did not buy the demonstration with the dummy. I think it was Newton who said that every action invokes an equal and opposite reaction. So if a man is straddling a man he has pinned to the ground and is pummeling him his legs will be in motion while he does so. The video proves this to be true. As the punch is delivered to the nose the left leg moves and lifts. The same thing would happen when in the kneeling position, allowing the person pinned to the ground to reach the gun. Additionally, the ground that he is pinned to, as an immovable object would add to assist him by giving him additional leverage to move the person on top of him making it possible to reach the gun. I believe Mr. Zimmerman was able to reach the gun and pull it and a fight for the gun ensued after it was out.

    July 13, 2013 at 2:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Wayne Gusman Jr.

    PLEASE do what I usually feel y'all do a wonderful job of. I am an American with brown skin who is ALWAYS classified as "black" & I strongly disagree wit the general (and largely the only perspective expressed) notion that the Zimmerman verdict, the jurors & Zimmerman supporters are shockingly insensitive to race, justice, and the Martin family. As a 32yr. old American man of color ("African American"), New Orleans native & 7.5 yr. veteran of the USMC, I identify with Zimmerman and strongly support the verdict! Please pull up some credible and honorable men and/or women of color who support the verdict, jury & Zimmerman to share their perspective. We need to balance the strong willed "black" men & esp. women who have expressed their disgust with all pro verdict elements. Thanks for doing what y'all do the way y'all do it!

    July 15, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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      You must be married to a white woman, I have notice all minorities that have white partners are afraid to comment about this case if they do they size with white folks . I feel sorry for you I would never be in a position that I can't stand up for my people when needed . I hope nothing ever happens to your mother.

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      Charles Barkeley was on Erin Burnett. He supports the verdict. He was thoughtful. But he's not in the majority so he's not getting as much coverage.

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