Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
Culture | By Henry Herrera

Does This Video Change Everything We Know About the Michael Brown Shooting?

Does This Video Change Everything We Know About the Michael Brown Shooting?

A new documentary that includes surveillance video showing Michael Brown in a convenience hours before he was fatally shot sparked angry protests in Missouri Sunday night, with nearly 100 people gathered outside the Ferguson Market & Liquor store.

The new footage, first reported by the New York Times, appears to show Brown entering Ferguson Market & Liquor just after 1 a.m. August 9, walking around the store and handing something to the clerks behind the counter.

Critics of the police's handling of the shooting and its aftermath have accused authorities of maligning Brown's character by releasing a different video from inside the store showing him pushing a worker and taking cigarillos.

The video, filmmaker Jason Pollock argues, suggests that Brown didn't rob the store but was instead involved in a drug deal with the clerks.

From the moment Michael Brown's body hit the pavement on Canfield Drive, after the unarmed black teen was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, local law enforcement devised a plan to vilify him and paint him as unsympathetic.

"They inspect the bag and appear to smell it, the footage shows, then hand Brown what the documentary claims is a plastic bag containing two large boxes of cigarillos", it added. The teen starts to walk away with them but then comes back and hands them back to one of the clerks to returns them to behind the counter.

Brown shoves him and exits the store with the box of cigarillos.

Wilson would find Brown and a friend walking in the middle of a nearby street minutes later. Brown committed a strong-armed robbery when he returned to the store around noon that day.

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"If taken on its face as purported in the documentary, it would go to the suggestion that Mike Brown wasn't there to steal, he was there to do a transaction which may or may not have been legal", Cuomo reported.

"There was no transaction", Mr. Kanzler said.

Jay Kanzler, an attorney for the convenience store and its employees, told the Times that his clients dispute the film's version of events. Brown then has an arguement with the clerk and throws a bag onto the counter.

The group was reacting to previously unseen footage in a new documentary, Stranger Fruit, which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival over the weekend which appeared to offer a new twist to the details of the case.

Though it's been more than two years since the shooting, the incident never faded from public memory, galvanizing social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and increasing calls for police transparency and reform. A short clip of the documentary was first uploaded by the New York Times.

Ferguson Market co-owner And Patel said Sunday he was not at the store at the time of Brown's 1 a.m. visit and is unaware of any arrangement between his employees and Brown.

Brown's parents have filed a federal civil suit against Officer Wilson, the city of Ferguson and the former Ferguson police chief. "The reason he gave it back is he was walking out the door with unpaid merchandise and they wanted it back", he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. That trial is set to begin next year.

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