Just as people began to celebrate the small wins and progress being made to move forward with the Ahmaud Arbery case, a shocking video obtained by The Guardian surfaced.
In 2017, Arbery was approached, profiled, and harassed by Glynn County police officers Michael Kanago and Dave Haney, who attempted to tase Arbery.
The police report obtained by The Guardian from the 2017 incident outlines officer Kanago’s experience with Arbery, but the video from his body camera is telling of how the incident went. Officer Kanago alleged that Arbery was smoking marijuana in his car while parked at a park.
In Kanago’s report, he wrote, “veins were popping from [Arbery’s] chest, which made me feel that he was becoming enraged and may turn physically violent towards me.” Kanago proceeded to request help from a second officer. When Haney arrived, the encounter quickly escalated and resulted in him attempting to tase Arbery, but his device malfunctioned.
After being questioned about why he was in the park, Arbery shared that he was relaxing on his one day off and was rapping in the car minding his business.
“You’re bothering me for nothing,” Arbery said to Kanago, according to body camera footage. After Kanago told him he was looking for criminal activity, Arbery said “criminal activity? I’m in a f–ing park. I work.”
He went on to say, “I get one day off a week…I’m up early in the morning trying to chill,” Arbery told the officers as he sat on the ground. “I’m just so aggravated because I work hard, six days a week.”
Viewers Discretion Advised
The exposure of this video has many wondering what everyday life was like for Arbery, who lived in a community policed by a troubled and controversial department.
In a joint statement to The Guardian, lawyers working for the Arbery family said, “This 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.”
While Arbery had a past, it is typical for the black men and women to be put on trial after their own murders in America. And the Arbery family lawyers are working diligently to make sure that is not the case for their loved one.