Mike Brown security camera images previously released (Photo Source: St. Louis County Prosecutors Office)

Mike Brown security camera images previously released (Photo Source: St. Louis County Prosecutors Office)

Black teen Mike Brown was gunned down by former police officer Darren Wilson, nearly three years ago. The shooting that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri has been called a tipping point on the issue of race and policing of Black communities. Previous video footage released by the police show Brown physically assaulting a store clerk and allegedly showed him stealing cigarillos. The incident caused police to respond to the area and Brown was shot, while witnesses stated he had his hands in the air.

Officer Darren Wilson, (Left) shot Mike Brown (right) on August 9, 2014 (Photo Credit: Ferguson Police Department and Mike Brown Facebook)

Officer Darren Wilson, (Left) shot Mike Brown (right) on August 9, 2014 (Photo Credit: Ferguson Police Department and Mike Brown Facebook)

When police released this video of Brown, many felt it was an attempt to demonize the recent high school graduate who had plans to attend college. The subsequent turmoil over the circumstances of his death led to days of unrest in the Ferguson and St. Louis areas as protestors took to the street.  film that was premiered at the SXSW annual event titled

A film that was premiered at the SXSW annual event titled Stranger Fruit has many people revisiting the circumstances of the shooting. It turns out that in the early morning hours of 1:00 am, Brown was at the Ferguson Market and Liquor store at least 12 hours before he was killed. The security video shows Brown putting a small bag of suspected marijuana on the counter in front of three store clerks. The clerks pass around the bag, smell it and then give Brown two cartons of cigarillos, placing them in a plastic bag with no exchange of money. Brown seems to say something to the clerks and they put the bags on the floor behind the counter. Around noon, Brown returns to the store and calmly waits to be served by a different clerk.

The filmmaker, Jason Pollock, implies that the clerk on duty did not know about the deal and refuses to give Brown his cigars. This video was known to exist by police but it was never released. The police felt it was unrelated to the shooting by Wilson. County police spokesman Sergeant Shawn McGuire stated to media outlet Dailymail, “The incident is still irrelevant to our investigation because our department investigated the encounter between Michael brown and Darren Wilson.”

However, family members have stated it sheds new light on the relationship between Brown and the store. Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden states in the documentary, “I was surprised to hear that two years later, there was a video. What you’re going to see on this video is what they didn’t show us happened, that clarifies that there was an understanding. There was some type of exchange, for one thing, for another.”

Lawyers for the convenience store and its employees stated to media, “There was no transaction, there was no understanding. No agreement. Those folks didn’t sell him cigarillos for pot. The reason he gave it back is he was walking out the door with unpaid merchandise and they wanted it back.”

There is a pending lawsuit that will be heard this year against Officer Wilson, the city of Ferguson and the former Ferguson police chief.

 

 

Mo Barnes

"Mo Betta" Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.

  • AnotherDem

    Wow. I was thinking that they’re might have been a relationship with the store that the police and everybody wasn’t aware of. But there still is no reason yet discover as to justify the killing of Michael Brown. There is no reason why the State of Missouri upheld the gag order placed on the Grand Jury. And there is no reason why they got Bob McCullough to be a prosecutor when he in reality was a defensive attorney for Darren Wilson. It shows in more ways than one that Justice system in Missouri has no integrity.

  • SrAgri

    “The filmmaker, Jason Pollock, implies that the clerk on duty did not know about the deal and refuses to give Brown his cigars.”

    Regardless of whether or not the cigars were part of an illegal drug deal or not, the later footage still clearly shows that Michael Brown beat up the store clerk. This indicates his disposition at the time of the shooting and provides a valid reason for the store clerk to have called the police in the first place.

    If Brown was a drug dealer, why didn’t he take the cigars when the alleged drug deal took place?

  • Had Enough

    Only thing those photos show is an enraged silverback running feral, that had to be put down for the public’s safety.

  • SrAgri

    Pollock didn’t actually release the “cover-up” video. He released an edited version that was spliced to misconstrue what went on. Legitimate news sites have the actual full video available.

    “When police released this video of Brown, many felt it was an attempt to demonize the recent high school graduate who had plans to attend college.”
    In view of this statement, is it any wonder that the police decided not to share a video of Michael Brown trying to peddle drugs earlier that day?

    The robbery video was relevant because it clearly shows that Brown had just robbed a store, which indicates his frame of mind at the time and makes it clear why Wilson approached him. However, since the robbery video put the “gentle giant” in a bad light, it was decried as a “smear video”.