As questions have continued to mount over the shooting death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, a newly-uncovered video showed police attempting to tase him during a separate incident in 2017 after confronting him in a park.
The video, obtained by The Guardian and released on Monday, featured multiple officers in Glynn County, Georgia questioning Mr Arbery, who was unarmed and sitting inside of his car when the altercation began.
Mr Arbery explained to the first officer who approached him that it was his one day off from work in the week, and he was rapping in his parked car. He provided identification to the officer, who then went back to his police vehicle.
Several minutes went by before the confrontation became tense, with Mr Arbery demanding the officer explain why he was being questioned. The officer told him the park he was located in was known for drug activity, to which Mr Arbery responded that he had nothing on him and was only sitting in his car rapping.
Despite the officer then checking Mr Arbery for weapons and discovering he was unarmed, a second officer arrived to the scene and almost immediately pulled out his taser while shouting. The taser appeared to fail as he shot it at Mr Arbery, with the first officer repeatedly stating: “I’ve already checked him for weapons.”
Attorneys for Mr Arbery’s family responded to the video, describing it as “a situation where Ahmaud was harassed by Glynn county police officers” and saying it was “just a glimpse into the kind of scrutiny” he faced in the community, before he was ultimately killed during a confrontation with two armed men in February.
Mr Arbery, an African-American, was reportedly jogging on 23 February when Gregory and Travis McMichaels, a white father and son, chased him down in a pickup truck before Gregory shot him to death. The McMichaels have alleged they believed Mr Arbery was involved in an apparent robbery. There has been no public evidence to support such a claim.
A video of the killing has drawn intense backlash and sparked protests over what demonstrators said was a clear act of a race-motivated murder. An attorney for the McMichaels defended their clients, saying in a statement: “The truth will reveal that this is not just another act of violent racism. Greg McMichael did not commit murder.”
After the shooting video was released, another video appeared to show Mr Arbery walking through a construction site on a popular jogging path in the region on the day of his death. CNN later obtained surveillance videos showing 11 instances of people walking through the site as well, though Mr Arbery was the only person killed by neighbours.
Neither of the McMichaels were arrested or charged in the killing until earlier this month, following intense criticism and nationwide news coverage. Multiple prosecutors have been forced to recuse themselves from the case, citing personal ties to Gregory McMichael, who previously served as an investigator for the local district attorney’s office.