New footage of Mike Brown in the same convenience store he was later accused of robbing raises fresh questions about his death and has sparked outrage in Ferguson that later turned into protests.
The footage shows Brown visiting the convenience store earlier the day he was killed by ex-Officer Darren Wilson and exchanging something with a clerk that many believe to be marijuana. The clerk then gave him a bag, including a pack of cigarillos, which he then put back behind the counter for safekeeping.
Jason Pollock, who directed a documentary entitled “Stranger Fruit,” says that the previously unreleased footage shows that local police looked to push the false narrative that Brown was attempting to rob the store, according to The New York Times.
“There was some type of exchange, for one thing, for another,” Lesley McSpadden, Mr. Brown’s mother said in the film.
However, Jay Kanzler, a lawyer who represents the convenience store Brown was accused of robbing, argues that this assumption is inaccurate.
“There was no transaction,” Kanzler said. “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.”
He later tried clarify his statements with The New York Daily News, acknowledging that the video could show Brown attempting to exchange marijuana for products, but claiming that the clerks gave it back at a later time.
“What was thrown up on the counter looked and smelled like marijuana, according to my clients, but they didn’t keep it,” Kanzler said. “They didn’t want to take marijuana for merchandise.”
Kanzler was later at the convenience store where he was confronted by protestors who asked why the footage was just now being released. After being threatened by someone in attendance, he ducked into the store before the gunshots were heard.
Police who were already on the scene then proceeded to make four arrests and scatter the crowd. No one was injured from the gunfire.