Protests Break out as New Michael Brown Footage Released

“They destroyed Michael’s character with the tape, and they didn’t show us what actually happened,” filmmaker Pollock told the New York Times.

Fresh protests in memory of Michael Brown broke out Sunday evening after new surveillance video featuring the slain Black teen hours before his killing was released, brought to light by a documentary called "Stranger Fruit" which debuted at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Saturday evening.

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Nearly 100 people gathered outside the Ferguson Market and Liquor Store where Brown was shot dead on Aug. 9, 2014 to demand justice, angered by new revelations uncovered in the documentary, which suggested Brown had not robbed the store — a fact that had been peddled by police to justify Brown’s fatal encounter with then-Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

The previously-unreleased surveillance video shows Brown inside the store eleven hours before he was accused of robbing it. Filmmaker Jason Pollock argues that Brown was not involved in robbing the store, but instead had conducted a drug deal with store clerks.

The video shows Brown handing them a small bag. The clerks then give Brown a bag with cigarillos. He takes it, but gives it back just before leaving. The film suggests the young teen did not return later that day to rob the store, but to get the bag back.

While the St. Louis County Police Department told CNN that they "cannot confirm its authenticity at this time," Attorney Jay Kanzler, who represents the Ferguson Market and Liquor store and its employees, says the version of events in the film is incorrect.

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"My clients did nothing wrong," Kanzler told CNN. "They love the people of Ferguson and truly want to get on with their lives."

He said that the full surveillance video, which has still not been released since 2014, is set to be released Monday. He claimed that it will refute the filmmaker's "edited version of events."

The video footage released by police in the days after Brown was killed showed only the part where Brown strongarms his way out of the store with the cigarillos, after grabbing and shoving a clerk. It was recorded just minutes before Brown was shot by Wilson on the street outside.

“They destroyed Michael’s character with the tape, and they didn’t show us what actually happened,” Pollock told the New York Times.

As people chanted into the night, Ferguson and St. Louis County police both arrived on the scene. Near midnight, seven or eight shots were fired at the protest site, but no one was injured.

While the surveillance video has sparked outrage over police not releasing all available information about Brown's death and painting him as an aggressive criminal, many have been quick to point out that the new footage has no impact on the crux of what happened — that Wilson fatally shot Brown in cold blood and was not indicted.

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Prominent Ferguson Protester Darren Seals Shot Dead

An aspiring hip-hop artist, Seals formed part of the Bottom Boyz Movement and was a vocal critic of white supremacy and police brutality in the United States.

Prominent Ferguson activist Darren Seals, 29, was found shot dead inside a burning car Tuesday in St. Louis Country. He was found at 1:50 a.m. local time and suffered a gunshot wound before his vehicle was set on fire, according to police, who say they're investigating the shooting as an homicide.

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Seals was close to the scene when 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson on Aug. 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson—a white police officer—and became active in the protests that followed.

After prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced on Nov 24. 2014 that Wilson would not be indicted following the shooting of Brown, Seals told MTV how he held Mike Brown’s distraught mother in his arms.

“For Mike Brown’s mother to be right there in my arms crying—she literally cried in my arms—it was like I felt her soul crying. It’s a different type of crying. I’ve seen people crying, but she was really hurt. And it hurt me. It hurt all of us.”

The killing of Brown provoked weeks of protests in Ferguson, which continued following the decision not to indict Wilson.

“I don’t recall anyone having a longer protest, a more productive protest, a more creative protest than what we did. I don’t think people will ever really appreciate what we did until years from now. We really did the best we could,” Seals told MTV in the same interview.

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An aspiring hip-hop artist, Seals formed part of the Bottom Boyz Movement and was a vocal critic on social media of white supremacy and police brutality in the United States.

On his Twitter account, he described himself as “Revolutionary, Unapologetically BLACK, Afrikan in AmeriKKKa, Fighter, Leader.”

Social media has responded with messages of support for Seals’ family while also questioning the nature of the shooting.

Author, activist and documentary producer Tariq Nasheed tweeted a conversation between himself and Seals in which he warned the Ferguson activist of “certain people” he “suspected of being agents.”

Other Twitter users point to a tweet by Seals himself, when he said “10 detectives pulled me over” and “told me ‘choose your enemies wisely.’”

No arrests have been made.

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Police Officer Shot During a Traffic Stop Near Ferguson

The officer’s condition is unknown, but a suspect is in custody. No details of the incident have been released.

An investigation is underway after an officer was shot Friday morning in a city just west of St. Louis, Missouri, local media reported.

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According to KTVI, the incident happened during a traffic stop shortly before 11 a.m. in Ballwin, some 25 miles from Ferguson, Missouri. The St. Louis suburb was the site of major protests following the police killing of unarmed, 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014, sparking nationwide unrest over police brutality and systemic racism in policing.

The officer’s condition is unknown, but a suspect is in custody.

The incident comes hours after at least one sniper killed five Dallas police officers and wounded another seven at the site of a Black Lives Matter protest following the killing of two Black men by police. Alton Sterling was shot in the chest by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 5, and Philando Castille was killed during a routine traffic stop in St Paul, Minnesota a day later. Videos of the incidents went viral on social media, sparking outrage at the latest killing of Black civilians by U.S. police officers.

RELATED: At Least 5 Officers Shot Dead at Dallas Police Brutality March

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the suspected shooter, Micah Johnson, was upset about the recent police killings and said the 25-year-old "wanted to kill white people, especially white officers."

Brown said police used a robot carrying a bomb to kill Johnson after a standoff.

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Ferguson's State of Emergency Extended

The state of emergency was called Monday, after a police officer shot and critically injured another black teenager Sunday night.

Officials extended a state of emergency in Ferguson, Missouri Thursday for an extra 24 hours, after citizens began taking to the street once again for the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown – a black, unarmed teenager who was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson last year.

County Executive Steve Stenger called for the extension, saying it will now last until at least Friday.

This is the second time this week the county executive has drawn-out the state of emergency after calling for a 24 hour extension Wednesday, even though the region has remained in a relative state of calm over the past few days.

According to a statement released by Stenger Wednesday, the tranquility in the city was an indication that the state of emergency was working and should therefore be extended.

Stenger originally declared the state of emergency Monday in order to stop potential retaliatory protests after another white police officer shot and critically injured black 18 year old Tyrone Harris in an exchange of gunfire Sunday night.

The shooting interrupted what had been a day of peaceful protests, as people took to the streets to commemorate Brown and demand justice for his killing on Aug. 9, 2014.

Brown's death last year – as well as the court's conclusion that Wilson acted legally – set off a wave of protests across the nation over police killings of minorities, sparking the movement Black Lives Matter and what many are calling a new civil rights movement.

Protests in Ferguson have continued over the past couple of nights, but have calmed down significantly, with smaller crowds and no confrontations or arrests.

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Journalists Charged for Doing Journalism in Ferguson

The two reporters were arrested last year after they did not leave the McDonald's where they were working fast enough, after being ordered to leave.

Two journalists from the Washington Post and Huffington Post have been charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer's performance while reporting on the unrest following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last year.    

Editors from both newspapers have condemned the charges and called them “outrageous.”  

The Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly and the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery were initially arrested Aug 13, 2014 – just four days after Brown was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson – after police officers entered the McDonald's where they were working.

According to police, the two were detained because they did not leave the fast food chain fast enough, after they were ordered to leave.

However, the two were quickly released and were not charged at the time.

Lowery then received a court summons earlier this month, ordering him to appear in a St. Louis County municipal court on Aug. 24, saying he could be arrested if he does not appear.

According to the summons, Lowery is charged with trespassing on private property and interfering with a police officer’s performance of his duties because, the summons alleges, he failed to comply with “repeated commands to immediately exit” the fast food chain.

These counts carry a penalty of up to one year in jail, a fine of US$1,000 or both.

Reilly has not yet received a summons, but a spokesman for the St. Louis County executive confirmed that he will face the same charges, reported the Huffington Post.

“I maintained from the first day that our detention was illegal and unnecessary,” Lowery told the Washington Post from Ferguson, where he is covering the current wave of demonstrations there on the anniversary of Brown's death. “So I was surprised that a year later this is something officials in St. Louis County decided was worth revisiting.”

Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron called the arrests an “abuse of authority.”

“Charging a reporter with trespassing and interfering with a police officer when he was just doing his job is outrageous,” said Baron in a statement released Monday, adding that “This latest action represents contemptible overreaching by prosecutors who seem to have no regard for the role of journalists seeking to cover a major story and following normal practice."

Huffington Post's Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim said in a statement that Reilly has the full support of the newspaper.

“A crime was committed at the McDonald’s, not by journalists, but by local police who assaulted both Ryan and Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post during violent arrests,” said Grim.

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