Citing surveillance footage, a documentary that debuted Saturday at a popular film festival in Austin, Tx., contends that Michael Brown didn’t rob a Ferguson convenience store moments before he was fatally shot by police in 2014, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. It asserts that Brown’s altercation with the shop was part of a misunderstanding tied to a possible drug transaction he earlier had with store employees. The new surveillance video in the film “Stranger Fruit” suggests Brown first showed up at Ferguson Market and Liquor about 1 a.m., many hours before he and police faced off.
Filmmaker Jason Pollock argues that Brown first exchanged a small amount of marijuana with store clerks for two boxes of cigarillos in his early morning visit that day. Before leaving the store, Brown gave the cigarillos back to the store clerks who put them behind the counter, according to the clip. The documentary asserts that Brown left the merchandise at the store to retrieve at a later point. After Brown was shot by then- Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson later that day, police released video of Brown strong arming his way out of the same store with cigarillos. “Mike did not rob the store,” says the film narrator. Jay Kanzler, an attorney for the convenience store and its employees, told the New York Times that his clients dispute the film’s version of events. “There was no transaction,” Kanzler said. “There was no understanding. No agreement. Those folks didn’t sell him cigarillos for pot.”