Ahmaud Arbery was apparently a target of Glynn County Police for some time, this after older video footage was unearthed and shared publicly. In the clip, Arbery is seen being cooperative and had his hands up but police still attempted to fire a taser gun at him.
The Guardian shared the clip of the 2017 incident in where Glynn County cops approached Arbery’s vehicle as he sat in a Brunswick, Ga. park rapping to instrumental beats and enjoying a day off from work. Police claim that they approached Arbery because the area was known for drug activity and ordered him out of the car. Naturally, Arbery attempted to defend his actions and why he was there and even told the officers that he worked at a local truck washing facility.
The video was obtained through a public records request and as noted by the outlet, police allowed Arbery to go home without any charges but he wasn’t allowed to drive home due to his license being suspended.
The most telling part of the video is the fact Arbery was largely compliant with the officers’ orders and did not appear to be threatening any form of physical violence towards the authorities yet one officer pulled the trigger on his taser, which malfunctioned. To be fair, Arbery was clearly agitated and wanted answers and was most likely afraid for his own safety during the tense exchange.
The legal team representing Arbery’s family believes that this proves Glynn County police had it in for him somehow and of course, media outlets reached back into his records to uncover any potential criminal activity. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shared in its reporting that Arbery was arrested for bringing a handgun to a basketball game at a local high school and he was placed on probation.
A 2018 incident in where Arbery and three others were accused of shoplifting from a local Walmart led to a new charge and an examination of his probation status. As the family stated, Arbery’s past actions have little to do with Gregory and Travis McMichael gunning him down in the street this past February.