FERGUSON, Mo. — A prosecutor was critical Monday of store surveillance footage from a new documentary about the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, calling it a heavily edited attempt to distort an incident that occurred several hours before Brown died in an encounter with a police officer.
Filmmaker Jason Pollock responded by calling St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch a “master of deception” and standing by the video shown in his documentary “Stranger Fruit.”
McCulloch released five surveillance videos from the early hours of Aug. 9, 2014, at Ferguson Market &Liquor that he said are unedited and tell a different story than filmmakers suggest.
The footage as it appears in the documentary “was clearly an attempt to distort this and turn it into something it isn’t,” McCulloch said at a news conference. He added that it was potentially dangerous, setting off a Sunday night protest of about 100 people that included reports of shots fired and the arrest of a man accused of trying to blow up a police car by putting a napkin in the gas tank and trying to light it. Henry Stokes, 44, was charged Monday with attempting to cause a catastrophe.
On Monday night, a few dozen protesters gathered peacefully outside Ferguson Market while police officers guarded the store.
Pollock said there was no deceptive editing.
“He’s trying to make it seem like I did something that I didn’t,” Pollock said of McCulloch on Monday in a phone interview. “He’s a master at deception, I’ll give him that, and he tricked the world for a long time, but he can’t trick us now. Because anybody who sees that video knows exactly what they see.”
Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old, was fatally shot by a white officer, Darren Wilson, shortly after noon on Aug. 9, 2014. The shooting set off months of sometimes violent protests. Wilson was eventually cleared of wrongdoing by both a St. Louis County grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice.