A new documentary casts further doubt on the claims that a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer acted in self-defense when he shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August of 2014. After the killing, the Ferguson Police Department released video footage showing what officers said was Michael Brown shoplifting a box of cigarillos from a convenience store and pushing a clerk who confronted him. The video was unrelated to Brown’s killing later that day, but police used it to portray Michael Brown as violent. Previously unreleased video revealed Saturday at the premiere of the documentary “Stranger Fruit” shows Michael Brown entering the same convenience store the night before his death.
Narrator: “St. Louis County has written documentation that we found, which shows they saw the 1:13 a.m. videotape, but they leave out what really happened that night in their report. Mike traded the store a little bag of weed and got two boxes of cigarillos in return. He left his items at the store, and he went back the next day to pick them up. Mike did not rob the store.”
Michael Brown’s killing sparked months of protests in Ferguson and in cities across the country. Brown’s killer, Officer Darren Wilson, did not face criminal charges after a grand jury that declined to indict him in November 2014.