The maker of a new documentary showing previously unreleased surveillance footage of Michael Brown hours before he was fatally shot, says the video casts doubt on the police narrative that the teenager robbed a convenience store before he was shot.
Jason Pollock, one of the filmmakers of Stranger Fruit, said he believes the security footage shows Michael Brown exchanging marijuana for a bag of cigarillos about 10 hours before his death, The New York Times reported. In the video, Brown leaves behind the cigarillos, but it’s unclear what was exchanged with the clerk.
Pollock told The New York Times, he believes Brown left the cigarillos behind, and returned shortly before his death, not to rob the store, but to retrieve them.
Shortly after Brown was shot to death by Office Darren Wilson, police released footage of Brown grabbing and pushing a store clerk as he stole cigars.
At the time, Ferguson, Mo. Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Wilson did not initially make a connection between the robbery and Brown, whose death spurred violent protests and unrest in the St. Louis suburb for weeks.
Wilson stopped Brown and a friend because “they were in the middle of the street, blocking traffic,” Jackson said.
The documentary, which premiered at South by Southwest in Austin on Saturday, sparked small protests outside the convenience store and #FergusonMarket began trending on Twitter shortly after.
Ferguson Market attorney Jay Kanzler spoke with protestors outside of the convenience store Sunday and reiterated that there was no exchange of drugs for cigarillos, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He said the surveillance footage of Brown’s early morning visit to the store had been seen by authorities, prosecutors and Brown’s family.
“The video has been out there,” Kanzler said. “This isn’t new.”
Kanzler told CNN that the full video will be released Monday and will put to rest the “Stranger Fruits” filmmakers “edited version of events.”
Authorities decision to release the original surveillance video in 2014 was slammed by residents and Brown supporters who said the police were trying to divert attention away from Wilson and justify the shooting by blaming Brown.
By CNN and contributed by Documented Press