(NBC News) The family and attorneys of Georgia shooting victim Ahmaud Arbery says the release of videos showing his past encounters with police are an effort to shift attention away from his murder.
Two newly released police body-camera videos show Ahmaud Arbery engaged with police. Both were shot three years before Arbery was killed in a shooting that has captured national attention.
In the first video he was approached by police as he sat alone in his car at a park.
Arbery told the officers he was there on his day off, trying to relax.
We don’t have the full context of what may have happened before and after the video, which shows an officer apparently trying to use his taser on Arbery. It doesn’t fire, and he was eventually released without being charged.
The second video, shot less than a month later, shows his arrest for shoplifting at a Walmart.
“You have a victim shot dead in the streets, and give it a few days and suddenly you start seeing images of that victim cast in the light as a criminal,” Arbery family attorney Lee Merritt complains.
Merritt says the videos are an effort to shift the attention away from the men arrested in Arbery’s death, Gregory McMichael, a former police officer, and his son Travis.
The men told investigators they grabbed their guns and followed Arbery because they thought he was a burglary suspect.
Gregory McMichael went on to say Travis fired when Arbery “violently attacked” and the two “started fighting over the shotgun.”
Arbery’s family insists he was unarmed and jogging through his neighborhood when he was confronted by the McMichaels.
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