Attorneys representing the Ferguson Market and Liquor store where Michael Brown was last seen before his death have spoken out against new footage that has sparked protests in the city once again.
On Sunday (March 12), over 100 protestors surrounded the store after unearthed footage leading up the police shooting of Brown showed the teen exchanging marijuana for cigarillos, not stealing then as suggested by previous reports. The footage from the August 2014 shooting came back to light during Stranger Fruit, a documentary debuted by Jason Pollock at the South by Southwest festival in Austin over the weekend. The film goes deeper into the shooting of Brown that later brought to light unlawful practices committed by the Ferguson Police Department.
The market was vandalized by rioters shortly after the shooting when a portion of the video was released by police while the investigation was going on. The footage reportedly had nothing to do with Brown’s encounter with former police officer Darren Wilson, but police released it over pressure from the press.
St. Louis Dispatch reports Ferguson Market attorney Jay Kanzler stood outside the store Sunday evening and told reporters the footage in Pollack’s film was edited. “The video has been out there,” Kanzler said, “This isn’t new.”
He plans to release to video in full sometime today (March 13). Ferguson police have called the video irrelevant, stating the original investigation was centered on Wilson stopping Brown for blocking traffic, not a robbery.
Pollock hasn’t responded to critics but has raised the question as to why only one video was released of Brown at the store and not the original that showed his exchange with the younger clerks, who were reportedly lax with customers. “They destroyed Michael’s character with the tape, and they didn’t show us what actually happened,” Pollock told The New York Times. “So this shows their intention to make him look bad. And shows suppression of evidence.”
Four people were arrested at the protest, and one officer suffered a broken nose.