Ferguson Market Protests: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Unrest erupted again in Ferguson, Missouri on March 12 in the wake of new details in the Michael Brown shooting death.

The protest centered around a Ferguson market that is the center of the new allegations, which include new video that calls into question some of the facts asserted at the time Brown was shot and killed by a police officer.

According to the New York Daily News, shots were fired during the March 12 unrest, although no one was injured. “Cops hunkered behind their cruisers during the shooting but no one was struck by the gunfire,” reported the newspaper.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. A New Documentary on Michael Brown Claims That He Did Not Rob a Store on the Day He Was Shot

Brown is the African-American man who was shot and killed by a white police officer, sparking intense riots in Ferguson previously.

The latest unrest comes after a newly released documentary “with footage the filmmaker says shows Michael Brown didn’t rob the store the day he was fatally shot by a police officer,” says the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

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That had been a critical point in the narrative put forth to the public at the time of the shooting, although the officer shot Brown in the street, not the store. However, the shooting occurred shortly after he left it.


2. The Film Launched Recently at a Texas Film Festival

The documentary is called “Stranger Fruit.”

The Post Dispatch reports it “premiered Saturday at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film “begins with an image of the Ferguson, Missouri, African-American high school grad proudly wearing his cap and gown.”

The Hollywood Reporter says the documentary’s SXSW world premiere “was attended by Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden” and the title is based on a lynching protest poem.

According to the Post Dispatch, “The film highlights surveillance footage showing Brown visiting the store around 1 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2014. That was about 11 hours before he returned to the store in what has been portrayed as a strong-arm robbery.”


3. The Documentary Claims Brown May Have Been Engaging in a Drug Transaction

According to the Chicago Tribune, “One of the filmmakers, Jason Pollock, told The New York Times he believes the footage shows Brown trading a small amount of marijuana for a bag of cigarillos around 1 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2014.”

A co-owner of the Ferguson Market has disputed the documentary’s allegations.

The Daily News reports that the documentary contends Brown “had traded pot for the cigarillos he was accused of stealing.”


4. Videos & Photos on Social Media Showed Protests Erupting Outside the Market

Videos and photos on social media showed unrest starting to take off around the market on the evening of March 12. The New York Daily News reported that protesters hurled profanity at police who were protecting the Ferguson Market.

Those posting on social media also alleged that police were making arrests and shots had been fired, although these reports were not yet confirmed.

There were reports from bystanders that a pregnant woman was among those arrested.

Videos showed police trying to clear the lot.

There were several reports of shootings throughout the evening.


5. The Police Officer Never Faced Charges in the Brown Death

Although he left the force after the unrest following the shooting, Officer Darren Wilson was ultimately cleared of criminal wrongdoing in Brown’s death.

michael brown darren wilson

He has not emerged much into the public view but did give an interview in which he described living a life of seclusion and explained the aftermath from his perspective.