Newly released surveillance video that shows Michael Brown in the Ferguson Market 11 hours before he was shot by officer Darren Wilson, has a documentary-maker challenging the account that Brown robbed the store of cigarillos shortly before the shooting.
Via a new documentary called Stranger Fruit, previously unreleased surveillance footage inside the corner store places Brown at the market at 1 am on the day he died, which is numerous hours prior to his now understood second visit. Previous video footage released by the police show Brown physically assaulting a store clerk and allegedly showed him stealing cigarillos.
Black teen Mike Brown was gunned down by former police officer Darren Wilson, almost three years ago. When in the store, he approaches the counter, hands over some type of small bag, then takes a shopping bag filled with cigarillos.
Filmmaker Jason Pollock suggest Brown had returned to the store the following morning to retrieve the tobacco products after handing the bag back to the clerk for safekeeping the night before.
The new video is reopening old wounds in Ferguson, Missouri, where about 100 people gathered outside the convenience store Sunday night, showing just how raw the memory of Brown and the riots that followed, continues to be for local residents. "They didn't take the marijuana...maybe Michael Brown thought they would trade him cigarillos, but they didn't".
Wilson stopped Brown and a friend because "they were in the middle of the street, blocking traffic", Jackson said. "Ferguson PD released the video of Michael Brown committing a strong armed robbery". "Brown and the store employees and to suggest he's coming back to get what he bartered for is just stupid".
"They destroyed Michael's character with the tape, and they didn't show us what actually happened", Pollock told the New York Times. Brown, unarmed, would eventually turn around, and Wilson shot him several times.
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"It's not as though (this footage) was hidden away somewhere, as this fellow with his video project was trying to say", McCulloch said.
A spokesperson for the St. Louis County Police told the Times that they did not release the earlier video because they did not believe it was relevant to the investigation into the shooting.
The "Stranger Fruit" documentary, created by activist Jason Pollock, debuted at SXSW over the weekend.
The footage shows Brown inside Ferguson Market & Liquor in the early hours of August 9, 2014, leaving behind cigarillos he was later accused of stealing. "The reason he gave it back is he was walking out the door with unpaid merchandise and they wanted it back", Kanzler told the NY newspaper. A grand jury and a federal civil rights investigation failed to indict Wilson in the Brown shooting, which sparked nationwide protests over a rash of police-involved shootings of black men.
Jay Kanzler, a lawyer for the convenience shop, said he would release more footage to prove it was a robbery.
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles referred requests for comment to Ferguson's police chief, who did not immediately return messages.