Police tried to use stun gun on Ahmaud Arbery in 2017, video shows

Arbery attorneys say he was 'harassed' by police
Police tried to use stun gun on Ahmaud Arbery in 2017, video shows
Posted at 8:16 AM, May 19, 2020

Representatives for the family of Ahmaud Arbery — the man who was shot and killed during an incident with a former Georgia police officer and his son in February — said at a news conference Tuesday that "extrajudicial killings are a joke to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

The press conference came a day after The Guardian unearthed body cam footage from a 2017 incident in which Glynn County Police Officers attempted to use a stun gun on Arbery after they approached him at a park.

In that video, an officer approached Arbery as he sat in his car at a park. Arbery, who was confrontational but compliant during the incident, refused to let an officer search his car for drugs, and the officer then called for backup.

Arbery had already been searched for weapons before a second officer arrived on the scene. Though Arbery did not have his hands in his pockets at the time, the second officer asked him to take his hands out of his pockets and quickly tried to subdue Arbery with his stun gun. The stun gun then malfunctioned.

Watch Tuesday's press conference in the video below.

Arbery attorneys told The Guardian that the video describes "a situation where Ahmaud was harassed by Glynn county police officers."

Arbery was not charged during the incident, though police did not let him drive away from the scene because his license was expired.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Arbery family attorney Lee Merritt said it was his intention to keep the focus of the case on the McMichaels.

Arbery was killed on Feb. 23 during an altercation with Travis and Gregory McMichael. Attorneys for the family say Arbery was out for a jog at the time of the incident.

The McMichaels told police following the shooting that they thought Arbery matched the description of "a string" or thefts in the area. The Brunswick News reports that there was only one theft in the area in the weeks leading up to Arbery's death — a January report of a gun that was stolen from the McMichaels truck.

No arrests were made in the case for several weeks. During that time, the case jumped between jurisdictions due to various conflicts of interest relating to Gregory McMichael's former work as a police officer and investigator for the Brunswick District Attorney's Office.

On May 5, video of the shooting was released to the public. Two days later, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested the McMichaels and charged them with murder and aggravated assault relating to Arbery's death.