Protests erupted again in Ferguson, Mo., after new surveillance footage was released of the night 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot three years ago.
The clip, which is part of a documentary called “Stranger Fruit” that debuted at South by Southwest film festival Saturday, March 11, showed Brown leaving a bag of cigarillos behind the counter at Ferguson Market & Liquor Aug. 9, 2014, 11 hours before his fatal shooting by police. The film’s director, Jason Pollock, thinks the clerks exchanged the product for a small bag of marijuana as a “part of a negotiated deal,” according to The New York Times.
Pollock said the clip challenges what police said was a strong-armed robbery the following night, which they supported with surveillance footage showing Brown grabbing the neck of the shopkeeper. The new video’s premiere led Ferguson residents to take to the streets over the weekend, allegedly firing shots in the process.
— CNN (@CNN) March 13, 2017
“We’re doing this for Mike,” Pollock tells ABC News. “We’re not just doing this to uncover [anything] about Ferguson. They wanted us to think Michael robbed the store because they needed us to think that Mike Brown was aggressive with [Officer Darren Wilson].
“The clerk takes the cigarillos, put it into a plastic bag and hands the plastic bag over the counter to Michael Brown. That’s not stealing [from] the store.”
Brown’s uncle believes police lied about his nephew.
“The picture they gave of my nephew wasn’t right,” he says. “That video, that just dispels one of the lies they was telling.”
The store refused what was shown in the clip, telling ABC through attorney Jay Kanzler, “to turn around and somehow blame folks that have nothing to do with this is shameful. It just didn’t happen.”
St. Louis Police told the network they “can’t confirm the authenticity of the video” as of Sunday, March 12. Nothing has changed from a legal standpoint, as police say Wilson “had no way of knowing Brown was a suspect” in the alleged robbery.
A civil trial for Brown’s case is set to begin in 2018.