The West Florissant neighborhood was closed for a time as police investigated the gunfire. Gunshots were fired as protesters picketed the Ferguson convenience store visited by teen police shooting victim Michael Brown before his death, three years ago, reports the St Louis Dispatch.
Jay Kanzler, an attorney representing Ferguson Market & Liquor sheltered inside during the eruption of violence as cops outside the store hid behind their cruisers just after 11 p.m., Sunday
Kanzler said he was meeting with his clients inside the store when he heard the gunfire. He stayed inside for several hours out of precaution. No one was struck by the gunfire, according to the paper.
Ferguson film suggests Michael Brown [left] did not rob convenience store. Instead he appeared to have made a drug deal before he was was shot to death by officer Darren Wilson [right] soon after he stepped out
Freshly unearthed surveillance video shows Michael Brown making an early-morning visit to a Ferguson, Mo. convenience store, not committing a robbery as purported in police report, on the day he was shot
Protesters arrived in the evening and stood outside with signs. Someone used chalk to write “Justice for Mike Brown” on the parking lot.
Ferguson and later St. Louis County police arrived on the scene to monitor the protest, which grew more heated later in the night. Police and protesters ducked behind cars when the shots rang out.
Cops and protesters alike, duck behind police cars as shots are fired outside of Ferguson Market in Ferguson on Sunday
Moments before, and flanked by police officers, he faced off with irate protesters hurling profanities outside the West Florissant store. Some demanded to know why the video was never disclosed by authorities during the initial investigation. Kanzler said the surveillance footage did not “show anything” newsworthy and that the documentary film “Stranger Fruit” was edited and taken out of context by filmmaker Jason Pollock.
A documentary filmmaker who uncovered unseen footage of Michael Brown, the black teenager killed by a white cop in Ferguson, Mo., says the video shows Brown making a public drug deal the day he died.
A clip from “Stranger Fruit,” a documentary about Brown’s death that debuted Saturday at the South by Southwest festival, features previously unreported video of the 18-year-old in a convenience store hours before his death.
Initial reports about Brown’s final day suggested that he robbed the store soon before he was fatally shot by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.
The new footage does not show a robbery, but it apparently catches some sort of exchange.
Ferguson officers examine the lifeless form of Michael Brown as he lay in the streets for hours after he had been shot by another officer, Darren Wilson. The shooter claimed there was report the victim had robbed a convenience store earlier
In a clip featured on The New York Times, Brown is seen entering Ferguson Market and Liquor around 1 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2014. He walks up to the counter, hands the cashier what looks like a small bag and takes a bag of cigarillos. Brown is seen walking to the door before putting the cigarillos back on the counter and leaving.
In a scene from “Stranger Fruit,” director Jason Pollock says he thinks the clip captures Brown delivering a small amount of marijuana, which the employees at the store appear to smell and inspect once he hands it over. When Brown returned to the shop later that day, he did not rob it, Pollock argues, he simply stopped by to get the cigarillos he left there hours earlier.
A man is heard threatening to beat up Kanzler before he ducked inside the store, according to video from the Post-Dispatch. A short time later, cops chased demonstrators out of the parking lot and made several arrests. The authorities in St. Louis County and Ferguson did not immediately disclose the number of arrests or details behind the shooting.
The video that sparked the heated protests shows the teenager inside the same store he visited minutes before he was shot to death by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August, 9 2014. Kanzler disputes that the video indeed shows the victim trading weed for the cigarillos, as alleged by Pollock.
He claims the store employees rejected Brown’s offer.
“The clerks gave back the marijuana or whatever is in the bag,” Kanzler told the New York Daily News. “You can’t have a drug transaction, as implied by the documentary, if you don’t have a transaction.”
A clip of the alleged exchange, first shared by the New York Times, on Sunday, appears to show Brown placing an object on the counter that a clerk then sniffs.
“What was thrown up on the counter looked and smelled like marijuana, according to my clients, but they didn’t keep it,” Kanzler said. “They didn’t want to take marijuana for merchandise.”
When asked why the clerk smelled what Brown handed over, Kanzler said the clerk was an immigrant and didn’t know what it was.
Protesters confront police in Ferguson police in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in 2014
“I don’t think he had been in the country for very long,” Kanzler said, later adding that the clerk was from India.
Additionally, Kanzler alleges Pollock failed to talk to the clerks or the store’s owners about the late night encounter. The film debuted Saturday at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, with interviews with Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, about the footage.
Pollock said he discovered the footage through police reports describing the encounter, but no mention is ever made of a drug deal.
Kanzler said the footage was cobbled together from video spanning at least two days and was initially obtained through late 2016 litigation. Additionally, the city of Ferguson, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney and lawyers representing Brown’s family had copies of the video.
He pledged to release the footage in its entirety on Monday.
“This is all great publicity for this filmmaker,” Kanzler said. “But there’s real lives at risk. Police officers were shot at. There were threats to burn down the store. All because some guy wanted to promote a documentary.”
“Practically shameful,” Kanzler added.