Newly released footage from November of 2017 shows a Glynn County police officer attempting to tase Ahmaud Arbery after he was found hanging out in his car at a park in Brunswick, Georgia.
Arbery, 25, was shot and killed on February 23, 2020, after being pursued by armed men through the suburban neighborhood where he lived outside Brunswick. Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and charged with the alleged murder of Arbery on May 7.
This video shows a Glynn County Police Department officer approaching Arbery’s vehicle around 9 am on November 7, 2017, according to a police report. The responding officer said the park area was known “for drugs and other criminal activity.”
Police said in the report Arbery “immediately exited the vehicle,” which “can be associated with running on foot, violent engagement, and intoxication.”
When asked what he was doing at the park, Arbery told officers he was “relaxing and rapping,” according to the report. In the video, Arbery becomes agitated and repeatedly asks why the officers are investigating his behavior.
In the report, the officer said he saw “veins popping” from Arbery’s chest and feared “he was becoming enraged and may turn physically violent.” The officer searched Arbery for weapons but did not find any.
The report said another officer — who was unaware Arbery had already been searched — came to the scene. Another confrontation broke out as police tried to look in his car for “weapons or drugs that would be in plain view.” When Arbery slid his hands into his pockets, the additional officer deployed his Taser at Arbery but it malfunctioned, according to the report.
The report states an officer smelled what he thought was “burned marijuana” and saw a plastic bag with “some sort of leafy substance” inside his car. Arbery again denied consent to have his vehicle searched and was let go, though he walked away as police discovered during the encounter that his license had been suspended, the report said. Credit: Glynn County Police Department via Storyful