Monday, March 13, 2017


How incendiary new Michael Brown film threatens to reignite fury around his death - as police ADMIT they knew about unseen footage but DIDN'T release it because it was 'irrelevant'

By Clemence Michallon

Daily Mail
March 12, 2017

An incendiary new documentary threatens to reignite the furor surrounding Michael Brown's death, by throwing new light on his final hours.

Filmmaker Jason Pollock aims to tell what he believes is the true story behind the 18-year-old's fatal shooting in his new film, Stranger Fruit, which aired Saturday at SXSW.

It includes never-before-seen footage that calls into question the long-held narrative that Brown had robbed a store before being shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Brown.

What threatens to really fan the flames is the fact that police have since admitted to knowing about the footage and say they refused to reveal it to the public because it was 'irrelevant' to the investigation.

St Louis County police spokesman Sergeant Shawn McGuire told the 'The incident is still irrelevant to our investigation because our department investigated the encounter between Michael brown and Darren Wilson.'

The 95-minute documentary, for which Pollock spent two years in Ferguson doing research, features interviews with the teenager's relatives, as well as public officials and witnesses.

Brown was fatally shot on August 9, 2014, by white officer Darren Brown, who was not indicted but cleared of criminal wrongdoing by a grand jury. A US Department Of Justice report pointed to systemic racism among the town's residents and its authorities - a theme explored by Pollock.

The filmmaker titled his movie after the famous song Strange Fruit, which protested the lynching of African Americans.

A key element of the documentary is never-before-seen footage that suggests Brown did not rob a convenience store moments before his death, unlike what authorities said at the time.

The clip, which Pollock shared with the New York Times, shows Brown visiting Ferguson Market and Liquor around 1am on the day he later died.

He appears to be giving a small bag, which according to Pollock contained marijuana, to the employees, who in turn give him two boxes of cigarillos. The teenager starts to walk away with the cigarillos inside a bag, but comes back and gives them back to one of the clerks, who puts the bag behind the counter.

The video, according to Pollock and to Brown's mother, implies there was a previous understanding between Brown and the clerks when the teenager later came back to the store - and that he did not steal the cigarillos, but obtained them through a negotiated deal.

Lawyers for the convenience store and its employees told the New York Times there was no deal with Brown and denied the filmmaker's account.

In a preview of his documentary, Pollock makes a point of pointing out that authorities did not release the video of Brown's previous visit to the store.

The Ferguson Police Department however did publish a clip of the teenager shoving one of the employees, which some of the many protesters who rallied after his death saw as an attempt to tame the young man's image.

McGuire told the New York Times in an email Saturday that the the video of Brown's earlier trip to the store hadn't been released until now because the footage was not relevant to the investigation.

Brown's death sparked days of unrest in Ferguson and nationwide protests. Pollock's documentary could now prompt some to demand the US Department Of Justice reopen the case, the Hollywood Reporter noted in a review.

Pollock was tipped off to the existence of another video of Brown because of a police report that made a brief mention of his earlier trip to the convenience store.

'We had to do this so that people understood what really happened,' Pollock told reporters at SXSW.

'Because everyone still thinks all these ridiculous things about him, and that he was a thug. He was not a thug.'

Pollock pointed out that Brown had just graduated high school in a district with historically low graduation rates.

'That means he was a rock star and he beat all the odds and was murdered eight days after his graduation.'

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rock star my ass! He may have graduated from high school but now it turns out he was a dope dealing scumbag.

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