Family: Video Proves Ahmaud Arbery Had Been 'Harassed' by Police

Video shows police attempting to tase Georgia man in 2017
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2020 4:46 AM CDT
Family: 2017 Video Shows Cops 'Harassing' Ahmaud Arbery
Protesters gather outside the Glynn County Courthouse during a rally to protest the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, Saturday, May 16, 2020, in Brunswick, Ga.   (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

A newly unearthed video shows police attempting to tase Ahmaud Arbery in 2017. The Guardian obtained the video via a public records request. Arbery, the black jogger chased down and allegedly killed by a white father and son in Georgia in February of this year, was sitting alone in his car at a park on a November morning in 2017 when an officer questioned what he was doing, noting the park was known for drug activity. Arbery said he was just relaxing and refused to allow police to search his car; after asking why the first officer was giving him trouble, backup was called for and a second officer arrived and ultimately attempted to tase Arbery. The taser malfunctioned and Arbery was ordered to the ground. He was ultimately allowed to leave, though without his car, as his license was suspended at the time. No charges were filed, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Lawyers working for Arbery's family say the video depicts "a situation where Ahmaud was harassed by Glynn County police officers," noting there was "no justifiable reason" for him to be tased. "This appears to be just a glimpse into the kind of scrutiny Ahmaud Arbery faced not only by this police department, but ultimately regular citizens like the McMichaels [the father-son duo] and their posse, pretending to be police officers," the statement says. Arbery was also checked for weapons during the incident, the AP reports. Arbery did have a criminal history, having been put on probation in 2013 for carrying a gun at a high school basketball game and then being charged with shoplifting and violating probation in 2018, but attorneys for his family say none of that is relevant to his slaying. (Read more Ahmaud Arbery stories.)

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