A video released Monday shows police in Georgia attempting to search Ahmaud Arbery's parked car in 2017 and, when he refuses to let them and begins to walk back to the vehicle, an officer trying to tase him. The video was first obtained by The Guardian.
It shows Arbery refusing Glynn County police when they ask to search his Toyota. Then, as he walks toward his vehicle, he is told "don't reach the car" and "keep your hands out your pockets."
The officer then pulls the taser and attempts to use it but it malfunctions and Arbery is told to get down on the ground, which he does.
When Arbery questions why the cops are bothering him he is told the area is known for drugs, a suggestion that agitates Arbery, who says he is not on drugs and to check his "s—-!" Officers then proceed to check him for weapons while clarifying this action was not a search, but a check.
In a police report also obtained by The Guardian, officers said Arbery, who was parked when confronted by officers, was free to go but could not take his vehicle because his license was suspended. The report said that after he left the scene, they noticed Arbery's passenger side window was open and that they smelled what they believed to be marijuana and noticed a bag with a leafy substance inside.
Calls and emails to the Glynn County Police Department and Abery's family attorney, Benjamin Crump, have not been returned.
Arbery waswho armed themselves and gave chase after seeing the 25-year-old black man running in their subdivision. More than two months passed before Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, were jailed on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault.
A judge from outside the coastal Georgia community where Arbery was fatally shot has been appointed to preside over trial proceedings of the two men charged with Arbery's murder, including one defendant with close ties to law enforcement.
Court documents filed in Glynn County show that Superior Court Judge Timothy R. Walmsley was appointed to the case after all five judges in the legal circuit where Arbery was killed recused themselves. Walmsley is based in Savannah, about 70 miles north of where the slaying occurred just outside the port city of Brunswick.
Gregory McMichael, a retired investigator for the local district attorney, told police he thought Arbery was a burglar. He said Arbery attacked his son before he was shot.
Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, has said she believes her son was merely out jogging.
The delay in criminal charges and a cellphone video of the shooting leaked shortly before the May 7 arrests fueled national outrage over Arbery's death.
Monday night, the attorney for the man who took the video of Abery's shooting told a news conference his client has taken a lie detector test, reports CBS Jacksonville affiliate WJAX-TV.
Kevin Gough said William "Roddie" Bryan wasn't asked to and did so voluntarily.
"Contrary to speculation, the polygraph examination confirms that on Feb. 23 2020, the day of the shooting, William 'Roddie' Bryan did not have any conversation with either Gregory or Travis McMichael prior to the shooting. Nor did William 'Roddie' Bryan have any conversation with anyone else that day prior to the shooting about criminal activity in the neighborhood," Gough said.
He said the test results have been shared with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Gough said Bryan and his fiancee have been in hiding and fearing for their lives.
Last week, defense attorneys for the McMichaels cautioned against rushing to judgment. They said they soon plan to seek a preliminary hearing from a magistrate judge in Glynn County at which new details might be revealed. They also plan to ask that the McMichaels be released from jail on bond pending trial. That decision will now fall to Walmsley.
No court hearings had been scheduled as of Monday afternoon.
Gregory McMichael worked as an investigator for the local district attorney for more than two decades before he retired last year. Attorneys for Arbery's family and others have blamed the delay in arrests in part on the elder McMichael's ties to local law enforcement. The McMichaels weren't charged until after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was brought into the case in early May.
Meanwhile, three district attorneys have passed on prosecuting the case, which now resides with the district attorney of Cobb County in metro Atlanta.
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