In yet another attempt to turn Ferguson thug Michael Brown into a victim, a new “documentary” filmmaker released a segment of film showing Brown inside the market he was thought to have robbed just before he was shot and killed by a local policeman back in 2014. The filmmaker claimed that is “proved” Brown did not rob the store. But in only a day the whole claim unsurprisingly fell apart.
A segment of film showing 18-year-old Michael Brown in the Ferguson quick-mart was released late last week by documentary film maker Jason Pollock. The filmmaker insisted that the video “proved” that Brown could not have robbed the market on the day he was killed resisting arrest a few blocks away.
The snippet of footage appears in Pollock’s new movie entitled Stranger Fruit. The film appears to be surveillance video from the store that hasn’t been seen in pubic before.
Pollock insists that Michael Brown was demonized and he says the footage proves it.
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) March 13, 2017
The video Pollock released shows Brown at the store the day before he got into an scuffle with an employee that was widely cited as evidence he was robbing the store. Pollock claims the new video does not comport with claims made by the Ferguson police who insisted Brown committed a robbery. Pollock claims his video shows Brown dropping off a baggie in exchange for a pack of cigarillos — Pollock hints that it is probably marijuana. Brown is then seen walking toward the door, but he turns back and seems to ask the cashier to hold the paper bag of cigars for him to pick up later.
Hours after this snippet of surveillance video, Brown went back to the store only to end up being featured in the video we are all familiar with that seems to show him pushing around the much, much smaller shop clerk and walking out. Since its release the film has been said to show Brown robbing the store.
But the filmmaker claims that the video proves that Brown was making some sort of deal (probably for drugs) with the story clerk, so this proves something else was going on. Pollock claims his snippet of video casts heavy doubt that Brown would have robbed his “partners” at the store.
Since he released his video, Pollock has been desperate to make people believe that Brown was railroaded. Pollock wants everyone to think Brown truly is the innocent “gentle giant” that his supporters all claim he was.
Pollock appeared on Fox News, for instance, and got in a huffy yelling match with the host when he was pressed on the video and his claims.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 14, 2017
But Pollock’s claims did not last long before they were systematically demolished by the release of more of the video.
St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch released more of the video and chastised Pollock for showing only an “edited” version. McCulloch held a press conference on March 13 and called Pollock’s video “heavily” edited and “pathetic.”
— Joel Currier (@joelcurrier) March 13, 2017
McCulloch went on to slam Pollock and his claims.
“This is a clear attempt to distort this and turn it into something it isn’t…There was no transaction, but there certainly was an attempt to barter for these goods, but the store employees had no involvement in that, and when he left, they put everything where it belonged…It’s very clear there was no transaction between Mr. Brown and the store employees and to suggest he’s coming back to get what he bartered for is just stupid.”
An attorney for the Ferguson Market joined the criticism of the documentary filmmaker’s wild claims.
Jay Kanzler, who represents the owners of the Ferguson Market, called Pollock’s allegations “shameful.”
“What he did,” Kanzler said of Pollock, “was took 20 seconds and then added this wild story and put it out there and opened up a whole kettle of fish that has been Ferguson that we thought we were starting to get over, that we were starting to heal from, and, as of last night, we took five steps backward.”
Kanzler added that Pollock’s claims are “laughable and preposterous.”
“He’s out there promoting a false narrative,” Kanzler concluded. “We just want this to end. Even if this were true, it had nothing to do with Michael Brown and that officer. That’s documentary marketing 101, it’s a way of generating publicity, he wants to stretch his 15 minutes of fame into 30 or 40 minutes.”
Pollock got one thing he wanted, though; more unrest.
At a press conference for Pollock’s film, Michael Brown’s father said that the city deserved to be burned down after his son’s death.
“Maybe the City of Ferguson wouldn’t have gotten tore up like that,” Michael Brown Sr. said. “It’s almost like they asked for it, if you ask me, for not keeping no truth in there.”
Unsurprisingly, with Brown Sr’s goading, as soon as he released his edited snippet of Brown, a crowd began to gather outside the Ferguson Market. Naturally, instead of a peaceful protest, the crowd turned violent.
— David Carson (@PDPJ) March 13, 2017
Ferguson film fallout: Video footage released, officer injured, charges for trying to set police car on fire https://t.co/47kJU3nNEr
— David Carson (@PDPJ) March 13, 2017
It wasn’t long before police were attacked and one was hurt. One member of the mob even tried to set a police cruiser on fire.
Police later arrested a man for the attempted arson. Charges were filed against 44-year-old Henry Stokes for the attempted arson. Police say that Stokes put a napkin behind the gas cap of the cruiser and then tried to light it on fire with a cigarette lighter.
Two others were arrested for their actions that night, as well. One was charged with assaulting a police officer.
Ultimately none of this renewed unrest has changed the essential story that Michael Brown was a thug who was killed trying to wrest a police officer’s gun away from him. Why Brown chose to attack the Ferguson police officer on that August day in 2014 is a complete mystery. Why Brown tried to take the officer’s gun instead of complying with officer’s reasonable commands just can’t be explained. Worse, why the entire community rose up and decided to destroy their own neighborhood in a lawless Bacchanalia is just as inexplicable.
But this new video and the brouhaha over it all just compounds all this tragedy. Michael Brown is still a thug. He is still unworthy of being made a martyr. And his being made a symbol of the black lives matter movement is still illegitimate.