Jason Pollock’s new documentary Stranger Fruit, which premiered at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, examines the shooting of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The film takes a closer look at the shooting from the family’s perspective, and is raising some new questions.
To enforce the narrative that Brown committed robbery before the shooting, the police initially released a security video from a convenience store that showed Brown pushing a worker and taking a pack of cigarillos. However, the police failed to report another security video, taken hours earlier, which Pollock acquired for the documentary. The New York Times reports:
“The footage shows Mr. Brown entering the store, Ferguson Market and Liquor, shortly after 1 a.m. on the day he died. He approaches the counter, hands over an item that appears to be a small bag and takes a shopping sack filled with cigarillos. Mr. Brown is shown walking toward the door with the sack, then turning around and handing the cigarillos back across the counter before exiting.”
Pollock believes that the new footage shows Brown giving a bag of marijuana to the store employees, receiving cigarillos in return, and then leaving the cigarillos behind the counter for safekeeping. “This shows [the police officers’] intention to make [Brown] look bad,” Pollock said. “And shows suppression of evidence.” Watch the clip from Stranger Fruit above.