Footage of teenager Michael Brown became crucial to the story of the teen's highly publicized death back in 2014. Now, new video shows that despite speculation, Brown had not robbed a local convenience store prior to being killed by police. This revelation has incited further demonstrations.
According to CNN, the new footage has been brought forth by director Jason Pollock, whose documentary about Michael Brown called Stranger Fruit debuted at South by Southwest in Austin over the weekend. The video shows Brown exchanging what appears to be a bag of marijuana for cigarillos, leaving the store, and returning later. Many had believed that Brown was stealing from the store prior to being shot by Officer Darren Wilson.
"This is a shady store. We've asked a lot of people in this community. You can buy weed at the store," Pollock said.
“They wanted us to think Michael robbed the store because they needed us to think that Michael was aggressive. Michael was handed the bag in the video, the clerk puts it in a plastic bag and hands it over the counter to Michael Brown,” Pollock added. “That’s not stealing [from] the store.”
“The picture they painted of my nephew was not right. That video dispels one of the lies they were telling,” said Bernard Brown, Michael's uncle.
The store responded by saying that Pollock had edited the video.
Police say the new footage is irrelevant to investigations. They claim that Wilson had shot Brown after stopping him on the street in an incident unrelated to reports of a robbery. Furthermore, police say they can not confirm the authenticity of this new video.
Following the release of the footage, around 100 protestors began gathering outside the store in question, forcing it to close. Demonstrators wondered in what ways this footage would have altered the narrative that allowed for Wilson to avoid indictment and questioned why police withheld this evidence. Gunshots were heard in the night during the demonstration, but no one was injured.
According to The New York Times, Michael Brown's parents have filed a federal lawsuit against Darren Wilson. The civil trial is set to begin next year.
[Photo: Getty Images]