The Ferguson PD, following the killing of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson, released information that Brown was a suspect in a convenience store robbery that took place just before the encounter with the officer. There’s a problem with that story though, which was obviously just an attempt to demonize Brown in the public’s opinion; Michael Brown appears to have paid for the cigars he was suspected of having stolen.

According to attorneys for the Ferguson Market, where the hypothetical robbery took place, not a soul at the store called the police to report the robbery. Instead, it was a customer who called and reported that he thought he had witnessed a robbery.

What’s more appalling is that the supposed robbery likely had nothing to do with the altercation between Wilson and Brown, as the video was not obtained until well after Brown had been shot and killed by Wilson.

It’s shameful that the Ferguson authorities would engage in such tactics. Even if Brown had robbed the convenience store, it is irrelevant to the circumstances of the shooting.

The punishment for petty theft isn’t death. The punishment for suspected petty theft isn’t death. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Update: This article originally held the title “Michael Brown Paid, Full Footage Shows.” At the time of this article’s publication, it was suspected that this very well may have been the case, or at the very least that it was not the crime purported by Right-wing media. Dorian Johnson, Michael Brown’s friend who was with him at the time of the incident, stated that Michael Brown did take a box of cigars from the store with an approximate value of $50. In an effort to resolve confusion, the title of this article has been updated to “It Doesn’t Matter If Michael Brown Paid.”

Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.