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New Michael Brown Evidence Results in Ferguson Protest

Mike Brown
Clip from "Stranger Fruit" via New York TImes

Protesters gathered Sunday night following the release of video footage showing Michael Brown at a convenience story early before he was fatally shot by a Ferguson police officer.

STL Today reports that a new documentary shows the teen apparently contradicting accounts made by police that said the 18-year-old committed a strongarm robbery at Ferguson Market & Liquor.

The footage drew a group of protesters and the market closed its doors for the evening. Police eventually cleared the store’s parking lot.

According to the documentary, Brown allegedly had an arrangement with employees to exchange store merchandise for marijuana. But Ferguson Market attorney Jay Kanzler, who spoke with the group of about 100 protesters late Sunday night, said the newly-released video of Brown visiting the store had long been in the possession of both police and Brown’s family.

Kanzler denied accusations that store owners exchanged any drugs or goods with the teen. The footage in the documentary shows what appears to be marijuana being placed on the counter top by Brown, but was edited to cut out store employees throwing back the bag. The bag’s contents have yet to be confirmed by officials.

Sunday’s protest followed Saturday’s premiere of Stranger Fruit at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The new footage shows Brown’s interaction with store personnel roughly 11 hours before he returns to the store on Aug. 9, 2014 in what has been portrayed as a strong-arm robbery.

Brown was fatally shot in a confrontation with former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Wilson was acquitted of all wrongdoing in Brown’s case.

“There was some type of exchange for one thing for another,” said Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden in the documentary. “These people know each other well enough that this is the relationship that they have.”

In an e-mail to the Times, St. Louis County police spokesman Sgt. Shawn McGuire says the footage from the 1 a.m. video was unreleased because it had no relevance to the police investigation. He also added he could not confirm the video’s authenticity.

“There was no transaction,” Mr. Kanzler told the Times. “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.”



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