Michael Brown Surveillance Video: What Does It Show?

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The surveillance video taken of Michael Brown minutes before the St. Louis teen was killed has become a hot topic of debate in the high-profile case.

On Friday, Darren Wilson was identified the officer whose fatal shooting of the unarmed black teen ignited days of heated protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Michael Brown was killed after a robbery in which he was suspected of stealing a $48.99 box of cigars, as shown in the surveillance video above.

It is widely speculated - even assumed - that the police officer used excessive, unnecessary force in the confrontation that ended with the teenager dead.

However, some counter that the surveillance video supports the officer - not to justify the killing of Brown, obviously, but to put the confrontation in perspective.

The video shows that Brown almost certainly committed a robbery, and was aggressive with the store clerk, before he ran into the officer in Ferguson.

The officer, it is believed, did not know about the cigar robbery that took place, but Brown didn't necessarily know that law enforcement didn't know.

Brown was combative, according to the police, and eyewitnesses say otherwise. The video shows he was combative just minutes before, however.

Some say the video is basically a smear campaign against Brown, while defenders of the police say it might indirectly support the officer's version of events.

The surveillance footage certainly does not make it okay that a young, unarmed man was shot, but does it help shed light on who is telling the truth?

You tell us in the comments below ...

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