SXSW Documentary Shocks with Different Account of Michael Brown Case

"Stranger Fruit," which debuted at SXSW, suggests the claim that Michael Brown robbed a store prior to his death is a lie

Michael Brown
Michael Brown (Image: Facebook)

The biggest news to come out of this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) conference is the showing of the documentary Stranger Fruit, which alleges to reveal the truth about what took place in Ferguson.

Michael Brown’s fatal shooting by Officer Darren Wilson and a grand jury’s dismissal of all charges against Wilson helped ignite the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

It’s always been alleged that Brown was attempting to rob a convenience store before the confrontation with Wilson occurred. The Austin360 reports the film suggests that Brown did not rob the store. Instead, there was actually a type of bartering transaction. From the article:

“…a barter type transaction that took place, a small bag of marijuana for boxes of the cigars, after which Brown decided to leave the cigars behind the counter for safekeeping before returning later that morning to retrieve them, an act that may or may not have contributed to his death. (A lawyer for the store and its employees has told the Times that no such transaction took place).”

After the film’s showing at SXSW, a panel discussion, featuring Normandy, MO Mayor Patrick Green and journalist Mariah Stewart, weighed in with their perspectives about Ferguson.

The film, a result of a crowdsourcing effort by filmmaker Jason Pollock, is receiving praise and criticism:

“Pollock compellingly points a finger at the institutionalized racism that has permeated a disturbing number of the country’s police forces.”
Hollywood Reporter


“This story is undeniably heartbreaking and compelling, and while I didn’t personally love the way that director Jason Pollock presented the film in certain areas of the film, this is required viewing for any parent, as well as anyone who’s concerned about race relations in this country.”
Movie Talk with Jake Salinas


“St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch said of Pollock’s stance on the case and the video, “What this guy’s putting out is just nonsense.
LA Times


  • NoJusticeNoPeace1964

    The film doesn’t change the facts. Does anyone really believe that Holder’s DOJ wouldn’t have indicted Darren Wilson, if there was any way they could have. Brown was clearly the aggressor and Wilson shot him in self defense.

    • peepsqueek

      To add: regardless of what happened in the store, the official autopsy on Michael Brown shows that he was shot in the hand at close range, according to an analysis and findings of two neutral experts (approved by both parties) and were not involved directly in the case. Powder burns indicate that their was a struggle in the car while Officer Wilson was in a sitting position. Wilson’s gun was behind his right hip. How Brown get shot in the hand at very close range without this struggle in the car???

      The official autopsy also confirmed that tissue from Brown was found on the exterior of the driver’s side of Wilson’s vehicle. — “Someone got an injury that tore off skin and left it on the car,” St. Louis medical examiner Dr. Michael Graham, who is not part of the official investigation said. “That fits with everything else that came out. There’s blood in the car, now skin on the car, that shows something happened right there.”

      Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist from San Francisco, said the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

      What are they trying to prove with the weed/cigar exchange does not undo or disprove anything that happened between Officer Wilson and Michael Brown?