Brunswick, GA – New bodycam video has surfaced of Ahmaud Arbery having an angry interaction with officers in 2017 and his family says it is further proof the man was repeatedly harassed by Glynn County police before he was fatally shot by a retired investigator (video below).
The incident occurred on a November morning in 2017 when Glynn County Police Officer Michael Kanago stopped to question Arbery on why he was hanging out in the park known for drug activity, The Guardian reported.
Bodycam video showed Arbery was shirtless but wearing a black puffy coat.
Officer Kanago asked him for his identification and Arbery produced a driver’s license from inside his vehicle.
The video showed the officer asked him to wait while he verified the driver’s license, and Arbery complied politely.
But when Officer Kanago finished checking for warrants – there were none – and got out of the car to return the license, Arbery got verbally aggressive with him, bodycam video showed.
“Why are you f–king with me?” Arbery asked the officer.
“Why am I f–king with you? You want to know why I’m f–king with you?” the officer asked him in the video.
“Why?” Arbery asked and began walking toward the officer.
Officer Kanago ordered Arbery to take his hands out of his pockets, and the video showed Arbery complied with the officer’s order.
Then the officer explained that he had stopped to talk to him because “this area is known for drug activity.”
At that point, Arbery lost his temper and approached Officer Kanago aggressively, yelling that he worked at Blue Beacon Truck Wash and was just spending his day off rapping at the park, The Guardian reported.
“You’re bothering me for nothing,” Arbery told Officer Kanago in the video.
The officer’s backup, Glynn County Police Officer David Haney arrived to assist at that point, The Guardian reported.
The video showed police asked for permission to search Arbery’s car and were declined.
Officer Haney pulled out his Taser and pointed it in the direction of Arbery and told the man to stay out of his car and then ordered him to keep his hands out of his pockets.
The video showed that Arbery complied with the officers’ commands.
Despite that, Officer Haney deployed his Taser at Arbery, the video showed.
The Taser made a zapping sound but failed to deploy, as Arbery stood still with his hands out to his sides.
Officer Haney ordered Arbery to the ground and he complied, the video showed.
He told Arbery to keep his hands out, but then Officer Kanago advised that he had already checked Arbery for weapons, the video showed.
The video showed the officers kept Arbery on his knees while he explained that he had only one day off a week and had gotten up early to go to the park “to chill on my day off.”
Officer Kanago explained to Arbery in the video that things had gone sideways when he had aggressively gone at the officer a few minutes earlier.
Police eventually released Arbery but refused to let him drive away in his vehicle because his driver’s license had been suspended, The Guardian reported.
The police report said that after Arbery left the scene, officers noted they had smelled and seen marijuana through the open passenger window of his vehicle.
Arbery was fatally shot on Feb. 23.
Gregory McMichael, a former investigator for the district attorney who was forced to retire after losing his certification, and his son, 34-year-old Travis McMichael have told police they believed the Arbery matched the description of a suspect who had been seen on security cameras repeatedly trespassing at a property that is under construction.
So they jumped in their truck and followed him, leading to a fatal confrontation that ended when Travis McMichael shot Arbery twice in the chest with a shotgun.
No arrests were made for two months until after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation got involved, and charged the father and son duo with murder 36 hours later.
Attorneys for Arbery’s family told The Guardian that the 2017 bodycam video clearly depicted “a situation where Ahmaud was harassed by Glynn county police officers” and said there was “no justifiable reason” for Officer Haney to have threatened him with a Taser.
“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 and their posse, pretending to be police officers,” they said in a statement.
However, Arbery’s criminal record showed that he had prior arrests, The Guardian reported.
He was on probation in 2013 after he was caught carrying a gun at a high school football game.
In 2018, he was charged with shoplifting and violating his probation, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Glynn County Police Department, on the other hand, has also faced recent scrutiny after the police chief and three high-ranking officers were indicted on perjury charges in March related to allegations they knew an officer was consorting with a local drug dealer and did nothing about it, The Guardian reported.
The police department lost its certification by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement in 2018.
Georgia officials have requested a federal investigation into the handling of the Arbery case by local prosecutors and the Glynn County police.
Watch the 2017 incident in the video here below. Warning – Obscene Language: