Video of Michael Brown Allegedly Stealing Before Being Shot Incites Ferguson Tensions (VIDEO)

After a brief period of calm in Ferguson, Missouri, tensions flared again in the aftermath of police releasing videotape of what is purportedly Michael Brown robbing a convenience store just before he was gunned down by officer Darren Wilson. Brown's family is outraged that the police chose to release the video at this time, saying it is "character assasination" of their son, who was unarmed and, according to witnesses, surrendering when Wilson shot him.

The Brown family admits that their son was not "the perfect kid" but say that nothing would have justified him being shot several times on the street. The Ferguson police say they only released the video of him stealing cigars from a convenience store because the media had demanded the video.

Michael Brown, who was 18 and stood over six feet tall, can allegedly be seen in the video walking out of the store with cigars. When he is confronted by someone inside the store (possibly not the clerk), he appears to shove him and moves towards him threateningly, then walks away.

A short time later, police say that 6-year veteran of the force, Darren Wilson, was on his way to another 911 call when he caught sight of Brown and a friend walking in the middle of the street blocking traffic, minutes after dispatch gave a description of the suspect. While police say at first Wilson did not know that Brown was a suspect in the "strong armed" hold-up, the police chief later said that Wilson may have spotted the stolen cigars.

What happened after that is up for debate, with the police saying that a struggle ensued in which Brown tried to grab Wilson's gun and that Wilson had injuries to his face; and witnesses saying that Brown was surrendering and holding up his hands.

Brown's family is outraged that the police are now focusing on Brown's transgression before the shooting, with their lawyer saying, "No one out there is proud of everything they have done when they were a teenager."

More from The Stir: Pregnant Woman Claims Police Abuse in Ferguson Protests (VIDEO)

While there is no doubt that no one deserves to be gunned down for petty theft, there is also little doubt that Brown's actions before the shooting will play into the timeline of events, and the police will use that to bolster Wilson's version that Brown was a threat.

Do you think the stealing is relevant to what happened?

Image via Daily Mail

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abra819 abra819

Of course it doesn't justify what happened. At all. However, we werent there and we dont know the whole story. We may never know. In my personal opinion, the kid was a punk and his parents seemed to have failed him in knowing right from wrong. There's so much of this "black kid viciously killed by trigger happy white cop" crap. I do do online arguments, so I wont be checking back on comments.

nonmember avatar sarah

of course just because he was a punk doesn't mean he wasn't gunned down but it makes it less likely

Snapp... SnappleQueen

Nobody knows what happened and both sides need to calm down. 

fave82 fave82

I think it's completely relevant. And I don't think it's "character assasination" as much as it is a demonstration of what his character actually was. To me, he seems like he was a bully who though he could throw his size around to intimidate people and that the laws don't apply to him. I think someone who has the audacity to strong arm a business owner and steal outright from them will probably not have an issue with pushing or hitting a cop if the opportunity presents itself. And if you are attacking or punching a cop, I don't care if you are unarmed, you deserve what's coming.

Now if he was really walking with arms up or was shot in the back or whatever, that's another story.... but the evidence will have to be reviewed.

Mrscj... Mrscjones

It wasn't him in the video if anybody cared to actually look at the video. The person in the video had on flip flops and a different outfit. The store was clear across the town. For him to have stole anything and make it to where he was shot he would have had to be superman. Plus the officer who shot him didn't even know about the store robbery. So yea character assassination to try and justify what he did. There is no justification for killing someone over a box of dollar cigars.

nonmember avatar blue

IF this is him, it's relevant. You could be one of the many colors on the rainbow, and it's relevant. When you present someone as a gentle giant who would never hurt anyone, and here is being violent and aggression minutes BEFORE, that is relevant. Very, very relevant. If we had the same video of the cop, it would also be relevant.

sylph... sylph_ironlight

Mrscjones: Yes, I did watch the video. Without casting judgement one way or another, the person in the video is wearing the same thing as Michael Brown. Grey shirt, tan capris, socks and sandals.

the4m... the4mutts

Mrscjones- it looks like the exact same outfit to me. Even his parents didn't contest that it was him in the video. They're just angry that it got released.

also, nobody said he was killed over cigars. He attacked an officer. And after his parents profiling him as a college bound, good boy, who wouldn't attack an officer, I think this puts his character in perspective.

You can't just paint someone as a saint that was killed for no reason, when they quite obviously had the capability of doing exactly what they were accused of doing.

youth... youthfulsoul

I mean most people don't steal or run from the police, right. So do the right thing to start with, and no chance of police gunning you down.

nonmember avatar Krelia

Parents are just mad their made up story about their kid comes to light. They didn't raise him right and he's a thug. While we can't say what happened that caused his death for sure, it gives clarity around the officers description that he was attacked by brown.

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