There were protests in Ferguson, Missouri last night following the release of a documentary which claims to shed new light on the Michael Brown case. The documentary claims Brown had made a deal to exchange a bag of drugs for cigarillos at the market the night before he was killed. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on the violence that took place near the market last night:
Shortly before midnight, 7 or 8 shots were heard from an area across the street from the market. There appeared to be no injuries. Someone stuffed a rag in the gas tank of a police car, but the damage was minor.
Henry L. Stokes, 45, of the 1500 block of Haviland Drive of Bellefontaine Neighbors, was charged with felony counts of attempting to cause catastrophe and resisting arrest. Bail was set at $25,000.
During the protest, police say Stokes stuffed a napkin in the gas tank opening of a St. Louis County police car and tried to ignite it with a cigarette lighter.
A Ferguson police officer suffered a broken nose when a woman punched him in the face as he tried to make an arrest, police said.
Today, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch released unedited footage of the alleged drug deal. McCulloch says of the claim made in the documentary, “There was no transaction, but there certainly was an attempt to barter for these goods, but the store employees had no involvement in that, and when he left, they put everything where it belonged.” He added, “It’s very clear there was no transaction between Mr. Brown and the store employees and to suggest he’s coming back to get what he bartered for is just stupid.” Here’s McCulloch stating the police had long been aware of this previous visit to the store and had determined it had nothing to do with what happened during Brown’s later visit:
As for the unedited video, the entire thing is below but here’s what I see. Brown comes to the counter at about 8:40. The clerk on the right is bagging up some items. At 9:09 Brown puts a baggie of something on the counter:
Immediately, the clerk on the left picks up the baggie. He appears to sniff it at 9:17. Meanwhile, the clerk on the right is showing Brown some boxes of cigarillos.
The clerk on the left puts the baggie back on the counter as another clerk enters the frame from the left.
At 9:19, the third clerk in the blue shirt picks up the baggie and examines it.
He sniffs it, bends it back and forth and finally, at 9:23 he appears to put it back on the counter. You actually can’t see the baggie at that moment because the clerk on the right leans over and is blocking the camera, but at 9:24 you can see the clerk in the blue shirt pull his hand away and it appears to now be empty. So it seems the baggie is back on the counter.
At 9:45 or so the clerk on the right appears to be talking to Brown. At 10:02, Brown takes the large bag of cigarillos and starts to walk away from the counter. One of the clerks apparently calls him back and Brown hands the bag back across the counter at 10:10. Brown walks out and the clerk removes the items from the bag and puts them back on the shelf. This does not make it look as if a deal has been made. It looks like Brown tried to walk out and was called back. Here’s the full unedited video released today:
In this final clip, CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman points out none of this changes the fact that someone from the store called in the robbery the next day. In other words, the people at the store didn’t think Brown had made a deal and was coming back for his merchandise, as the documentary claims. They thought they had been robbed and called the police.