The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri sparked the Black Lives Matter movement and put the Obama administration firmly on the anti-police side. Two subsequent investigations found that the officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson, acted in self-defense. But the Associated Press can’t let the narrative go, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, for one, thinks the story is significant enough to pick up:
A convenience store is disputing a new documentary’s claim that previously unreleased surveillance video suggests Michael Brown didn’t rob the store shortly before he was fatally shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.
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. The video doesn’t clearly show what was exchanged, but shows Brown leaving behind the cigarillos.
Pollock reasons Brown intended to come back later for the bag of cigarillos.
The first question that comes to mind is, so what? That question is never answered. The AP casually publishes a smear against the people who own and operate the store–they vociferously deny the filmmaker’s speculation that they engaged in a drug deal–but to what end? Previously released video filmed the following afternoon shows Brown shoving a co-owner of the store out of the way and walking out with the cigarillos, without paying for them. Store employees called the police and reported the theft.
This new video sheds absolutely no light on what happened after that, as law enforcement wearily explained to the Associated Press:
Some of the local officials who investigated the fatal shooting said they didn’t think the new footage shed much light on the case.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he wasn’t surprised that Brown was in the Ferguson Market earlier in the day. Belmar said his department focused on investigating the shooting, not the incident at the store.
So why is the Associated Press making a national story out of an obscure documentary filmmaker’s bid for attention? Because it provides yet another opportunity to push the false Ferguson narrative:
Brown, who was 18, was fatally shot minutes later by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Brown, who was black, was unarmed. Wilson is white.
Got that? The only relevant facts are the races of the people involved, plus Brown being unarmed. No mention of the fact that Brown, 6′ 4″ and close to 300 pounds, attacked Officer Wilson in his squad car after Wilson asked him to get out of the street and stop blocking traffic. No mention of the fact that Brown tried to wrestle Wilson’s gun away. No mention of the fact that the gun discharged, wounding Brown, while Wilson was still sitting in the squad car. No mention of the fact that Wilson got out of the car and told Brown to put his hands up, after which Brown charged Wilson, whereupon Wilson shot him in self-defense.
Only later does the AP grudgingly admit that “[a] local grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice found no evidence of wrongdoing by Wilson, who resigned in November 2014.” But the AP still can’t let it go:
But the shooting and protests led to scrutiny of Ferguson, resulting in a scathing Justice Department report alleging racial bias in the city’s criminal justice system.
Which had nothing to do with Brown’s death. Neither does the newly-published video have anything to do with Brown’s death. So why is the AP promoting Jason Pollock’s film? Because it wants to keep alive the myths about Michael Brown and the Black Lives Matter movement–a political cause that the AP endorses.
If you have any doubt about the film’s intent, take a look at Jason Pollock’s Twitter feed. Here are just a couple of examples. Pollock formerly worked for Michael Moore:
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) March 11, 2017
— Jason Pollock (@Jason_Pollock) December 29, 2015
Many people have died as a result of the false Black Lives Matter narrative, a large majority of them black. In stories like this one, the Associated Press isn’t just reporting selectively. It is deliberately enabling the perpetration of lies.