Michael Brown Documentary Sparks More Controversary

Michael Brown Documentary Sparks More Controversary
Michael Brown Documentary Sparks More Controversary

FERGUSON, MO/March 13, 2017 (STL.News) A documentary on the Michael Brown case in Ferguson is generating controversy and more civil unrest.

At issue is the footage shown in the documentary “Stranger Fruit,” which was released over the weekend at a film festival in Texas.  The surveillance video from Ferguson Market shows Brown inside of the store around 1 a.m. on August 9, 2014.  The film’s creator and narrator Jason Pollock claims the footage shows Brown trading a bag of marijuana for Cigarellos with store employees.  Pollock further claims he left the Cigarellos with the store employees to pick up later.

Later that same day, around 11:30 a.m. Brown returned to pick up those Cigarellos and not to rob the store, according to Pollock.

However, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch and Jay Kanzler, attorney for Ferguson Market, dispute Pollock’s claims, saying the footage in the documentary was edited.

“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.”  McCulloch said during a press conference he called on Monday afternoon at the St. Louis County Justice Center.

McCulloch also referred to the documentary as “pathetic.”
“To suggest he’s coming back to get what he bartered for is just stupid.” added McCulloch.

McCulloch said this footage wasn’t released to the St. Louis County Grand jury because it wasn’t relevant to what happened in the store prior to the police confrontation on Canfield Drive.  However, he said a police report regarding this footage was presented to the Grand Jury.

McCulloch also released an unedited version of the footage in question, which appears to support his claims of what happened that morning.  The video is available online at http://www.stlouiscopa.com.

The documentary sparked protests in Ferguson on Sunday night.  About 100 people gathered outside of Ferguson Market. Gunshots rang out during the protests.  No one was hit in the gunfire.

One of the protesters, a woman, allegedly punched a police officer in the face and broke his nose.  Her name is being withheld pending charges.

In another incident, 45 year-old Henry Stokes of Bellefontaine Neighbors allegedly tried to set a police car on fire by stuffing a napkin in the gas tank and attempting to light it with a cigarette lighter.  Stokes has been charged with attempting to cause a catastrophe and resisting arrest.

Jill Enders
About Jill Enders 121 Articles
Jill Enders is an award winning journalist. She is the proud recipient of the 2015 Missouri Broadcaster's Association award for Best News Series. Jill won this prestigious first place award for her piece “Ferguson Year In Review” she wrote, produced, and voiced for KTRS radio, where she also currently works as an anchor, reporter, and writer. Over the past twenty years, Jill has worn many hats in the broadcast industry. She has worked as a D.J., field reporter, production director, copy writer, airborne traffic reporter, anchor, and news bureau chief. Jill has covered a wide variety of high profile stories during her career, including the Flood of '93, presidential debates, and the Ferguson Crisis. Jill also has acted in TV, film, and stage. Her experience as an actress allows her to provide her acting students with a practical insight of the entertainment industry. Jill is a native St. Louisian and a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.