New video shows Ahmaud Arbery being arrested for trying to steal TV from Walmart in 2017
Court records show that Arbery pleaded guilty to trying to steal a television from the store and was sentenced to five years on probation for the same
Police in Georgia have released new bodycam footage that captured the December 2017 arrest of Ahmaud Arbery for shoplifting a TV from a Brunswick Walmart. Arbery, 25, was shot and killed on February 23 following a confrontation with father-son duo Gregory and Travis McMichael, who chased him down as he was jogging through the Satilla Shores neighborhood of the city.
The shooting made national headlines after a video of the incident went viral on social media, and ultimately prompted authorities to arrest the McMichaels and charge them with felony murder and aggravated assault. Following their claims that they chased Arbery because he resembled a burglar who had been thieving homes in the area, the 25-year-old's life has been endlessly dissected, with the recent video showing him and three of his friends being arrested outside a local Walmart.
As the video plays, one officer can be heard asking the four men about a 65-inch television that they had been suspected of stealing. "TV? What? We don't have any TV," Arbery insists. The officer then asks for each of the men's age before ordering the group to sit on the ground, only for Arbery to stand up and protest his innocence. "Take a seat for what?" he asks. "I don't know nothing about no TV. … I don't steal no TV."
After they sit down, another man approaches the group and claims that Arbery had tried to wheel the large television out of the store without paying for it. "What TV?" Arbery argues as he motions towards the store. "The TV is in there."
He then tries to get up and insists to the officer that he has a receipt for all the purchases he made. But he's made to lie face-down and is handcuffed and arrested before he's placed into a squad car and taken away. Court records show Arbery pleaded guilty to trying to steal a television from the store and was sentenced to five years on probation for the same.
The release of that video came just one day after The Guardian published a Glynn County police officer's bodycam footage from a November 2017 incident that showed Arbery being tased as he was sitting alone in his car at the park. The officer, identified as Michael Kanago, can be heard telling Arbery, who is shirtless and wearing a green hat, winter coat, and athletic pants, that the park was notorious for drug activity. When he denies having any drugs on him and says he was just relaxing by rapping in the park on his day off from work, Kanago asks to search his car. "You're bothering me for nothing," he tells the cop. When Kanago suggests he's looking for criminal activity, an irate Arbery responds, "Criminal activity? I’m in an f–ing park. I work."
At this point, another officer shows up at the scene and tries to tase Arbery, only for it to malfunction. In a report of the incident, Kanago said he called for backup because he felt threatened. "Veins were popping from [Arbery’s] chest, which made me feel that he was becoming enraged and may turn physically violent towards me," he wrote. Lawyers for the 25-year-old said the video showed how he had been "harassed by Glynn county police officers" and that there was "no justifiable" reason for him to be threatened with a taser. "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," the said.