Outrage ensued again after new video surfaced in the controversial case of a young black man named Michael Brown shot and killed by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. A filmmaker claims that the video exonerates Brown from the crime that led to his shooting, and thereby condemns the police action as unjust.
But not everyone is convinced that the speculation by the filmmaker proves Brown’s innocence.
“It’s just after one in the morning on the day that Michael Brown would be killed,” CNN reports. “And this, newly released surveillance video shows him inside the Ferguson Market and Liquor Store, the place he’d be accused of robbing eleven hours later.
Now CNN cannot confirm the video’s authenticity. It’s part of a new documentary called “Stranger Fruit,” which debuted at the SXSW festival Saturday.”
It challenges the police narrative that Brown stole from a convenience store moments before he was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson, back in August 2104. It argues Brown’s altercation with the store employees later that day, shown in this video that was released by the Ferguson police, stemmed from a misunderstanding tied to an earlier apparent drug deal with the clerk, which the filmmaker Jason Pollack suggests, is happening in the previously unreleased video.
Now the 18-year-old appears to give the clerks a small bag. Pollack claims it’s marijuana. They give Brown a bag with cigarillos, which he takes but then turns around and gives back to the clerks before leaving. The film suggests that Brown did not return to rob the store later that day but to get his stuff back.
The shooting death catapulted the nation into violent protests, riots, and a national debate over racism and police brutality. Brown’s supporters continued to allege that Brown said “hands up, don’t shoot” before Wilson shot him, even after the investigation conducted by the Department of Justice debunked this narrative.
Skeptics point out that it was not the market robbery that made Darren Wilson shoot and kill Michael Brown, rather that Brown reportedly attacked the policeman when questioned, and tried to grab at his gun. They also focus on the speculative nature of the claims of the movie, which were addressed in the police report of the incident, but not widely publicized in the media.
The filmmaker’s claim was roundly mocked by conservatives on social media.