Newly released video footage shows Ahmaud Arbery, the Georgia jogger gunned down by a father and son with ties to local law enforcement, being handcuffed and arrested in 2017 on suspicion of shoplifting from a Brunswick-area Walmart.
Arbery, who was 23 at the time, was there with three other friends, two of whom were only 15.
They were detained while trying to leave the store and accused by the store’s loss prevention officer of trying to steal a 65-inch television valued at nearly $800, according to a Glynn County Police Department report of the December 1, 2017, incident.
The video, taken from the Glynn County Police Department officer’s bodycam, was posted Tuesday on YouTube.
The GCPD officer asks, “Tell me about the TV.”
Arbery responds, “TV? What? We don’t have any TV.”
The police officer again asks, “What about the 65-inch TV?”
“Sixty-five inch TV?” Arbery says.
It’s then that the police officer asks the four people being accused of shoplifting to take a seat on the ground.
“Take a seat for what?” Arbery asks. “I don’t know nothing about no TV. … I don’t steal no TV.”
Walmart’s loss prevention officer comes out and identifies Arbery, who was wearing shorts and a black jacket with fur around the hood, as the shoplifting suspect.
Arbery claims he has a receipt and tries to get up but is instructed to lie face down in the asphalt. He’s then placed in handcuffs and put into a squad car.
The juveniles with Arbery were picked up by their guardians and banned from the store.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that in early 2018, an investigation was launched questioning Arbery’s probation status by the Glynn County District Attorney’s Office. At the time, Gregory McMichael, one of the men accused of killing Arbery on February 23, headed up the investigation that eventually led to Arbery’s probation being revoked.
The 2017 shoplifting charge isn’t the only time Arbery has had an encounter with the law.
On November 7, 2017, Glynn County police officer Michael Kanago spotted Arbery sitting alone in his 2001 gold Toyota Camry at a park.
Kanago accused Arbery of using marijuana and told him the park is known for drug and criminal activity.
In the video Arbery responds, “Criminal activity? I’m in a f—ing park. I work.”
He then tells Kanago, “You’re bothering me for nothing” before refusing to let the officer search his car.
Kanago, according to his own police report, claims he felt threatened by Arbery and requested backup.
A second officer, David Haney, shows up and starts yelling at Arbery to get his hands out of his pockets, which Arbery does. Haney then attempts to tase Arbery but his Taser malfunctions, according to Kanago’s report of the incident.
The police officers then demand Arbery get on the ground, which he does.
“I get one day off a week,” Arbery said. “I’m up early in the morning trying to chill. I’m just so aggravated because I work hard six days a week.”
Kanago and Haney eventually let Arbery go but say he can’t drive his car because his license is suspended.
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About four years before that incident, a Brunswick High School resource officer spotted a handgun in Arbery’s waistband as he waited to enter a basketball game. The officer tried to confront Avery, who ran. He was chased by the cops and eventually arrested.
Arbery admitted he was armed but no longer was in possession of the gun. Police later found a .380 caliber handgun in front of the gym.
Arbery was charged with weapons possession at a school and obstructing an officer.
Arbery’s death made headlines this year after the Glynn County Police Department as well as local prosecutors largely looked the other way after he was shot by McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael. The father and son duo were eventually arrested after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the circumstances surrounding Arbery’s death.
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