Filmmaker Jason Pollock, shown here with Michael Brown’s mother Lezley McSpadden. has quite a few things to say at the SXSW premier of of his film “Stranger Fruit” on the police killing of the unarmed teenager, obviously he’s quite animated, passionate and energetic about the subject.
[In full disclosure I previously diaried, interviewed and supported Jason Pollock’s effort to Crowdsource a film on Micheal Brown 2 years ago — today those efforts have come to fruition)
As noted by the Hollywood Reporter.
Stranger Fruit, an explosive documentary retracing the events surrounding the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, begins with an image of the Ferguson, Missouri, African-American high school grad proudly wearing his cap and gown.
He’d die eight days later, unarmed, of multiple gunshot wounds at the hands of white police officer Darren Wilson, who would ultimately be exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing by a state grand jury, igniting a firestorm of protests in Ferguson and throughout the country.
Determined to set the record straight, director Jason Pollock (a protege of Michael Moore) opens his own investigation — and the damning, emotionally charged results clearly struck a chord with the audience at its SXSW world premiere, which was attended by Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden.
Thanks to Pollock’s dropping of a major bombshell in the form of additional surveillance footage that had evidently been suppressed by Ferguson police, the film (the title draws upon the lynching protest poem “Strange Fruit”) may even generate traction in efforts calling upon the Department of Justice to reopen Brown’s case.
The controversial footage which has caused much of the press reaction is here:
An attorney for the convenience store has been on air to argue that there was “no arrangement” between Brown and the store clerk. That even though Brown clearly gives them something which they accept, and as he’s turns around as he’s about to leave and gives them back the large boxes of cigarillos — they don’t give him back the baggie.
Even if you don’t dispute the idea that the baggie was offered as “payment” or that simply decided to come back from the cigarillos later, they are the ones who have his property and if they aren’t going to give it back, they’ve effectively stolen from him not the other way around.
It’s in that context that the confrontation the next day — where Brown doesn’t take a big box of cigarillos (perhaps the same boxes he left behind the previous night) he picks up couple bags (worth about $5) that fell on the floor after a brief tussle with the clerk behind the counter, he starts to leave with the couple baggies and another clerk lays hands on him blocking his exit he pushes back and leaves - now takes on an entirely different light.
It’s long been noted that Brown put something down the counter before the altercation, some thought it may have been money but perhaps it was more weed. This may not have been a “robbery” this was Brown attempted to get back what he’d left behind from the previous night.
Here is Pollock being interview on CNN and explaining where the video came from.
Pollock: What this video shows is that they lied to the world about what happened. They wanted to make Mike look bad so they put out half a video, to destroy his character, in his death.
Now, I’ve spoken with Jason before when I did my previous article — I’m reaching out to him again today because I want to hear what he thinks on a number of issues and what else besides this video which may potentially exonerate Brown’s character and motivations on that day, but doesn’t yet show that the ultimate shooting was unjustified and Officer Wilson told numerous lies that do not fit the forensics.
What I discussed with Jason before, and I hope is depicted in the film along with many other issues, was the fact that Wilson’s claimed that “Brown punched him hard with his right hand”, but that was the hand Brown had the cigarillos in which would have softened the blows and further Wilson didn’t have any bruises on the left side of his face indicating that he’d been hit. All of his bruises were on the right side and back of his neck indicating that they occurred as a result of Wilson grabbing and holding Brown while he struggled to get away, rather than attack. We discussed the fact that Brown couldn’t have been shot from the front as Wilson claims because he was hit in the back of his right bicep.
How’s he get that wound from the front? Ricochet? Heat-seeking bullet?
He was also grazed on the inside of right inner arm, and one of the only ways for that wound to happen is if his hands were up palm forward when that shot was fired. If that was the case the bullet would have continued and re-entered, hitting him in the upper right chest — and he has a another wound in that exact spot.
The DOJ didn’t determine that “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” was a lie — they made no definitive determination at all as to where Brown’s arms were as he was struck, but the one place they couldn’t have been is where former Officer Darren Wilson claimed — at his sides.
Lastly the claim that Brown “charged” is disproven by the timing of the shots — based on an audio recording and the distance he travelled based on the blood trail — which was 15ft. in 4-6 seconds for a best possible speed of 3mph to 1.54mph which is not a “charge”, that’s a boy whose been shot in the chest stumbling and falling, only to be hit in the top of the head and in the eye as he landed. That being the case Brown was never a threat to Wilson, and his killing was a deliberate cold-blooded murder. An execution.
If besides the new video Pollock convincingly makes points like these — he’s done America a great public service.
Here is the schedule of the remaining SXSW screenings.
Frank Vyan Walton
The prosecutor McCulloch and the store’s attorney have been on CNN arguing that the Stranger Fruit clip ends too soon, that right after it ends the clerks give Michael Brown his baggie back and put the merchandise from the bag back on the shelf and there was no transaction at that time.
As i note above it seems like when Michael came back during the day he put another baggie down on the counter again. So IMO he was trying to finish the transaction that he had attempted before not steal anything.