Lawyer Says New Michael Brown Footage Was Doctored, Store Owner Confirms He Was Robbed

March 14, 2017

FERGUSON, MO — Previously unseen footage of Michael Brown at a convenience store had the Internet abuzz this week after it appeared to show Brown engaging in a friendly transaction with the store employees.

In a widely circulated report by the New York Times, the filmmaker who released the new footage suggests that Brown gave the employees a small bag of marijuana, in exchange for which they give him a box of cigars. And so, the filmmaker concludes, a robbery didn’t occur.

It has led many to suggest that police murdered Michael Brown unjustly and tried to demonize him as a robber to cover up their crime.

It also brought crowds to protest the store itself this week, as they are being led to believe that the store’s owner lied to police about the robbery or is otherwise complicit.

The immigrant who owns the store has been threatened, and during the protests on Monday several shots were fired.

But now another twist has developed.

The filmmaker who released the footage is alleged to have doctored it in substantive ways, according to an attorney familiar with the case.

Jay Kanzler is an attorney for the store and says the new footage is reckless and “stupid” because it leaves out key moments verifying a robbery. He says he’s going to release the full footage to disprove the notion that Brown didn’t rob the store.

It is important to get at the truth of what happened, because just as Michael Brown could be innocent, the store employees could be innocent too. It would be a tragedy to accuse immigrants of being complicit in Brown’s death if in fact they were victims of a robbery.

Another point that is forgotten in all of this is that even if Michael Brown did rob the store and the filmmaker is lying, was it still justifiable for the police officer to shoot and kill Michael Brown?

You will get a different answer depending on who you ask, but we can all agree that we need to be careful to uncover the truth and be vigilant in not demonizing innocent parties.

Courthouse News reports as follows:

One of the filmmakers, Jason Pollock, told The New York Times he believes the footage shows Brown trading a small amount of marijuana for a bag of cigarillos around 1 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2014. The video doesn’t clearly show what was exchanged, but shows Brown leaving behind the cigarillos.

Pollock reasons Brown intended to come back later for the bag of cigarillos. But a lawyer for the store and its employees said no such transaction took place, and that Brown stole the cigarillos when he returned to the store about 10 hours later.

“There was no understanding. No agreement. Those folks didn’t sell him cigarillos for pot. The reason he gave it back is he was walking out the door with unpaid merchandise and they wanted it back,” Kanzler told the New York newspaper.

Here is what the business owner says during an exclusive interview in 2015 that was not significantly covered by the media:

Here is the footage that purports to show Brown was involved in a robbery:

Now, here is the new footage released by the filmmaker alleging that a robbery never took place: