Newly released footage shows the arrest of Ahmaud Arbery after a suspected shoplifting attempt at a Walmart in Brunswick, Georgia, on December 1, 2017. An Atlanta defense attorney says the new video of that incident is irrelevant.
A group of four men were detained leaving the Walmart. One of the men allegedly attempted to steal a 65-inch television valued at $798, according to a Glynn County Police Department report. A loss prevention officer identified the shoplifting suspect as Arbery, who was wearing shorts and a black jacket with fur around the hood.
It’s unclear what the group did inside the Walmart during the shoplifting attempt.
Arbery, who was 23 years old at the time, was arrested and charged with theft by shoplifting, according to the report. The Glynn County Police Department provided this bodycam footage that shows Arbery’s arrest.
The three other people, all boys under the age of 18, were banned from the property and then picked up by their guardians, according to the report.
Prominent Atlanta defense attorney Jackie Patterson says the video is irrelevant.
"It is no question that there is no judge in Georgia that would ever allow that video in trial because it is totally irrelevant and would have no bearing on whether the defendants in this case are guilty or not," Patterson told FOX 5.
Patterson, who is also a former police officer, says leaking this video is a move by defense attorneys to win the war of public opinion.
He says after seeing Arbery gunned down many people across America were stunned.
"You simply want to try and influence public opinion and that is what the defense attorneys are doing in this case. They are trying to show he is of bad character and that he is a criminal," Patterson explained.
Arbery later pleaded guilty and received first offender status, which mean no jail time and 5 years probation.
Arbery, 25, was shot and killed on February 23, 2020, after being pursued by armed men through the suburban neighborhood where he lived outside Brunswick. Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and charged with the alleged murder of Arbery on May 7.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot and killed while out jogging in a south Georgia neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020. (Photo provided by family members)
The Glynn County Police Department also released footage from a November 2017 incident in which an officer attempted to stun Arbery after he was found hanging out at a park in Brunswick.
Patterson says the more pressing issue in this case is the possibility that the two DA's who recused themselves might be charged.
" I could see obstruction of justice charges because a district attorney is suppose to administer justice not show favouritism. If they are found guilty, the governor would remove them from office, " Patterson said.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr asked the GBI to investigate DA's Jackie Johnson and George Barnhill's actions after the deadly shooting.
Storyful contributed to this report.