SXSW: Documentary sheds light on murder of Michael Brown


Nearly three years ago in Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown Jr.’s death at the hands of former police officer Darren Wilson shocked the nation and sparked massive protests, speculation and media frenzy across the world. In 2015, a grand jury decided to not indict Wilson.

Armed with new groundbreaking security footage, ballistic and forensic evidence, director Jason Pollock is looking to set the record straight with the premiere of “Stranger Fruit” at SXSW.

Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden, and father, Michael Brown Sr., also attended the screenings.  

Pollock, who also runs a creative agency in Los Angeles, California, said Brown’s death changed his whole life. Following the news of Brown’s murder and Wilson’s trial, Pollock felt compelled to reach out to Brown’s family to see about making a documentary.

“Something just didn’t add up,” Pollock said. “Why would someone who just graduated high school, who beat all of the odds, drop all of that to rob a convenience store?”

The documentary takes the audience through every step of Brown’s death, from the confrontation with Wilson to his body lying on asphalt in the 105 degree Missouri heat, in painstaking and calculating detail. Pollock has left nothing out and even expands on crime scene details that he believes were ignored or covered up by Wilson’s police department, defense attorney and government officials.

“Stranger Fruit” also features intimate interview with Michael Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson, who was with him at the time of his murder, and Michael Brown’s mother. McSpadden now advocates against police brutality with the We Love Our Sons and Daughters Foundation.

Pollock’s film has sparked new conversation in the media with previously unreleased video of Michael Brown visiting the convenience store he is said to have “robbed.” The new footage is revelationary.

“I hope this film embarasses a lot of people,” Pollock said. “Millions of dollars were spent by the media to get the story right and no one got the story right.”