Never before seen surveillance video from the day that 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, was recently released sparking protests at the convenience store where it was filmed.
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CNN reports that a group of people gathered outside the Ferguson Market and Liquor Store Sunday night after the new video became public.
The footage of Brown was included in a documentary called Stranger Fruit which debuted at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, on Saturday. It appears to show what the filmmaker Jason Pollock argues is an August 2014 drug transaction between Brown and the clerks.
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What makes the video the source of ire for protesters is that after Brown’s death at the hands of Police Officer Darren Wilson, who was not charged in Brown’s death, police released surveillance footage from the Ferguson Market, allegedly showing Brown pushing one of the clerks—participating in what the police called a “strong-armed robbery”—and supposedly justifying the officer’s use of force against the unarmed teen.
Besides the fact that police had no knowledge of this video until after Wilson gunned Brown down, police chose not release this earlier video, which begs the question, Why?
Pollock suggests that Brown didn’t rob the store but was instead involved in a drug deal with the clerks. The film suggests Brown did not return later that day to rob the store but rather to get the bag back.
The St. Louis County Police told CNN regarding the video that they “cannot confirm its authenticity at this time.”
“If it did occur, the incident is still irrelevant to our investigation because our department investigated the encounter between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson,” St. Louis County Police told CNN.
It’s not known how many people were present at the protest outside the store Sunday night, or how many were arrested. The Ferguson PD has not responded to request for comment.
Attorney Jay Kanzler, who represents the Ferguson Market and Liquor store and its employees, told CNN that the version of events in the documentary is false and that it has been edited to leave out a part where the clerk throws the bag back to Brown.
“My clients did nothing wrong,” Kanzler said. “They love the people of Ferguson and truly want to get on with their lives.”
Kanzler says he will release the entire video on Monday.