‘Stranger Fruit’ video still via CNN
More than two years after the killing of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old African-American shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., details have come to light that are bringing fresh scrutiny to the case.
In his new documentary “Stranger Fruit,” filmmaker Jason Pollock has included previously unreleased footage taken from a surveillance camera in the store Brown visited Aug. 9, 2014, the day he was killed by Officer Darren Wilson. As The New York Times reported, the video shows an interaction between Brown and store employees that happened in the early hours of that day and challenges the version of events that Wilson’s team used to help him walk free:
The footage shows Mr. Brown entering the store, Ferguson Market and Liquor, shortly after 1 a.m. on the day he died. He approaches the counter, hands over an item that appears to be a small bag and takes a shopping sack filled with cigarillos. Mr. Brown is shown walking toward the door with the sack, then turning around and handing the cigarillos back across the counter before exiting.
Jason Pollock, a documentary filmmaker who acquired the new tape, says the footage challenges the police narrative that Mr. Brown committed a strong-armed robbery when he returned to the store around noon that day. Instead, Mr. Pollock believes that the new video shows Mr. Brown giving a small bag of marijuana to store employees and receiving cigarillos in return as part of a negotiated deal. Mr. Pollock said Mr. Brown left the cigarillos behind the counter for safekeeping.
“There was some type of exchange, for one thing, for another,” Lesley McSpadden, Mr. Brown’s mother, says in Mr. Pollock’s documentary, “Stranger Fruit,” which premiered Saturday at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex., and examines the shooting from the family’s perspective.
... “They destroyed Michael’s character with the tape, and they didn’t show us what actually happened,” said Mr. Pollock, who spent more than two years in Ferguson conducting research for his documentary, and who questions the decision to not charge Officer Wilson. “So this shows their intention to make him look bad. And shows suppression of evidence.”
Watch CNN’s coverage of the new angle “Stranger Fruit” introduced to the Michael Brown case:
—Posted by Kasia Anderson