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Cops in the same Georgia county where Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead tried to tase him in November 2017 while he was sitting in a park, according to a video and police report obtained by the Guardian.
The video shows Glynn County police officer Michael Kanago telling Arbery that he’s in a park with “known drug activity,” to which Arbery responds that he’s just sitting in his car rapping along to instrumentals. When a second officer, David Haney, arrives at the scene and Arbery tells him that he will not let them search his car, the second officer fires a taser at him. The taser doesn’t function correctly, and Haney then orders Arbery down to the ground.
When Kanago tells him that there’s frequent gang activity in the park, Arbery asks, “Is my name tied up in any of that?” and Kanago responds that it isn’t. Eventually, the two cops let Arbery go but tell him he cannot drive his car because his license was suspended. After he walks away, the cops suggest there was a smell of weed coming from his car.
“I’m just so aggravated because I work hard, six days a week,” Arbery, then 22, said at one point during the incident.
Travis McMichael, 34, shot and killed Arbery on Feb. 23 while he was jogging in their suburban neighborhood. Both McMichael and his father, Gregory, claimed that they chased Arbery because he matched the description of someone who had broken into several homes in the area.
The video “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,” lawyers for the Arbery family told the Guardian.
While prosecutors initially declined to charge the McMichaels, citing Georgia’s citizens’ arrest statute, the two men were arrested earlier this month and charged with murder and aggravated assault after video of Arbery’s death was leaked online, a leak McMichael himself reportedly played a role in. Over the weekend, it was also revealed that Glynn County police officer Robert Rash had told a local property owner to talk to Gregory McMichael if he had any problems with trespassing.
On Monday, attorneys for the Arbery family called for the arrest of the man who filmed the video, William Bryan, saying he helped the McMichaels to “corral” Arbery.
“We know it’s not only the man who pulled the trigger,” attorney Lee Merritt told the New York Times.
Cover: A woman shouts during a rally at the Glynn County Courthouse to protest the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, Saturday, May 16, 2020, in Brunswick, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)