New surveillance video of Michael Brown hours before fatal shooting

Posted March 14, 2017

New video captured hours before Michael Brown was killed shows the 18-year-old exchanging marijuana for cigarillos with the clerks of a Ferguson, Mo., store, a documentary director said Monday.

Almost 100 people gathered outside the Ferguson Market and Liquor Store where Brown was shot dead on August 9, 2014 to demand justice, angered by new revelations uncovered in the documentary, which suggested Brown had not robbed the store - a fact that had been peddled by police to justify Brown's fatal encounter with then-Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

Brown was shot and killed after he was stopped by police officer Darren Wilson and attacked Wilson.

The new footage, however, shows Brown entering Ferguson Market and Liquor, shortly after 1 AM the day of his death.

"They destroyed Michael's character with the tape, and they didn't show us what actually happened", Pollock, the documentarian who obtained the footage from St. Louis County police, said in a New York Times interview.

Jason Pollock, the filmmaker releasing the tape as part of his documentary Stranger Fruit, says it proves that Brown had not been committing a strong-arm robbery when he returned to that store around noon later in the day. Brown is shown walking toward the door with the sack, then turning around and handing the cigarillos back across the counter before exiting.

Kanzler said he would release the store video Monday to show the store encounter in full. He then appears to have the employees hold the cigarillos for him behind the counter before he leaves, all taking place in the early hours of the day he died.

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Filmmaker Jason Pollock included the footage in his new documentary Strange Fruit, which premiered Saturday at SXSW. Brown was black and Wilson is white. Kanzler say he did not pay for anything and the video shows his attempt to leave the store.

Some local police who investigated the shooting told the Post-Dispatch they didn't think the video shed much light on the case. Towards the end of the video, it appears that Brown goes back to the store the following morning. Brown, unarmed, would eventually turn around, and Wilson shot him several times.

However, the convenience store's lawyer, Jay Kanzler says that the new found footage is unrelated.

As Essence.com reported, the documentary asserts that Brown left the merchandise at Ferguson Market & Liquor to retrieve at a later point. He said the store employees reject a marijuana bag, but that clip was not used in the documentary.

County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said at the time that Wilson's own testimony should not be given too much weight, since he was the target of the investigation.

In the aftermath of the 2014 shooting, the city of Ferguson reached a deal with the US Justice Department to reform its police department and courts.

In an extensive report into the case, The St Louis County Police Department briefly referred to Brown's earlier visit to the convenience store - which is what reportedly tipped Pollock off to the existence of the video.