The release of the film “Fruitvale Station,” which hits Washington theaters Friday, is haunting in the wake of the George Zimmerman trail and the verdict handed down Saturday night.

The film depicts the death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was shot in the back by a white BART officer on New Year’s Day in 2009. Johannes Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, spurring protests in Los Angeles by those who believed Mehserle should have been found guilty of murder.

(Left: Protestors march through streets of Beverly Hills to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Robyn Beck/Getty Images. Right: Protester in Oakland, Calif., on June 12, 2011. Kimberly White/Reuters)

Post critic Ann Hornaday says the director took small creative licenses, but the film is largely based on court records and family memories.

Grant’s death occurred four years ago, but the demonstrations decrying the killing of the unarmed man echo those held by those shocked by the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. For this edition of Throwback Thursday, we rummaged through our archives for photos of protests in the aftermath of Grant’s shooting and Mehserle’s trial..

(Left: Demonstrators in Beverly Hills protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Robyn Beck/Getty Images. Right: Aidge Patterson of the LA Coalition for Oscar Grant, reads a statement after a jury delivered a verdict of involuntary manslaughter in the case against Johannes Mehserle. Jae C. Hong/AP)


Jay Eusantos joins others during a demonstration protesting Johannes Mehserle’s involuntary manslaughter conviction in Los Angeles. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement urging Californians to remain calm and not resort to violence.
July 2, 2010. (AP)

A man puts up a huge sign in Oakland, Calif., after a guilty verdict for Johannes Mehserle.
July 2, 2010 (AP)

Protesters gather in Oakland, Calif., following an involuntary manslaughter verdict in one of the most racially polarizing cases in California since four Los Angeles officers were acquitted in the 1992 Rodney King beating.July 2, 2010 (Noah Berger/AP)

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