NAACP Issues Statement on 2017 Incident Involving Ahmaud Arbery and Law Enforcement Officials

Updated: May 19, 2020


Crystal Greer /

BRUNSWICK, GA (May 18, 2020) -- Body cam footage obtained through an open-records request details a heated exchange between Ahmaud Arbery and Glynn County Police Department officers. Arbery was sitting in a local park and was approached by Officer Michael Kanago and immediately accused of doing drugs, though he was simply taking a day off from working at Blue Beacon Truck Wash.

Ahmaud was not only being harassed due to Kanago’s baseless accusations but was also traumatized as another officer arrived on the scene. Once the second officer, David Haney, arrived on the scene, he immediately screamed at Arbery to get his hands out of his pockets. Officer Kanago already had searched Ahmaud for weapons at that point. While he did comply according to the body cam video and police report, Haney continued harassing Ahmaud by unsuccessfully attempting to tase him.

“This video reveals the chronic and pervasive nature of police violence and the wholesale criminalization of black people in this country. He was targeted for simply sitting in a park while black. This further amplifies our urgent demands for judicial accountability as the Glynn County Police Department and the District Attorney in this Circuit continue to put black lives in danger every single day. The only way to ensure that we can move forward is by the resignation and accountability by those directly responsible for his murder and the subsequent cover-up,” concludes Rev. James Woodall, State President of the Georgia NAACP.

The Georgia NAACP remains focused on its advocacy efforts through the Just Georgia Coalition to ensure that Jackie Johnson and George Barnhill are both held responsible in the miscarriage of justice and that every Georgian is able to live without fear of being murdered due to race, creed, or any other human classification. We will continue to work directly with the Arbery family, legal counsel and community leaders of Brunswick to ensure that justice is served.

Watch the video of the Ahmaud 2017 Incident video here.

Read the Police Report here


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has had an unbroken presence in Georgia since 1917. The Georgia NAACP maintains a network of branches throughout Georgia, from cities to small rural counties. The Georgia NAACP has been the most effective and consistent advocates for African American civil rights in Georgia. You can read more about the Georgia NAACP’s work and mission at

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