Newly revealed text messages show that approximately two months prior to the tragic killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a local cop appears to have encouraged a neighbor of retired detective Gregory McMichael to reach out to McMichael if he caught someone on the surveillance camera at his house construction site.
“According to text messages between an officer of the Glynn County Police Department and Larry English, the owner of the home under construction where Ahmaud’s alleged killers claim he was trespassing, police told English to call Greg instead of cops whenever Larry needed assistance,” TMZ reported on Friday. “Larry’s attorney, Elizabeth Graddy, confirmed the text exchange is real … and says she received it a couple days ago in a batch of emails.”
In the alleged text dated December 20, the officer informed Larry English that McMichael was his neighbor and that he could call him if ever his surveillance camera captured someone at the site where his home was being constructed.
“Greg is retired Law Enforcement and also a Retired Investigator from the DA’s office. He said please call him day or night when you get action on your camera,” the text message reportedly said.
On February 23, Ahmaud Arbery was seen running through a neighborhood in Satilla Shores, Georgia, where residents reportedly saw him enter a house that was currently under construction. Recently released surveillance cam footage shows Arbery entering the house and observing the area for a few minutes before leaving with nothing in his possession. During this time, a 911 call was reportedly made alerting the police to Arbery’s presence.
According to Gregory McMichael, he spotted Arbery running down the street and thought he resembled a man believed to have committed a previous burglary. Suspecting that Arbery may be armed and dangerous, Gregory and his son Travis then grabbed their guns, hopped into a pickup truck, and formed a roadblock to enact a “citizens arrest” until the police arrived.
Citizens arrests in Georgia require arresting individuals to have directly witnessed a crime being committed.
In a recently released video that has since gone viral, Arbery is seen running up the road, where he encounters Travis McMichael. Arbery was shot and killed, McMichael claims, while wrestling with Travis for his shotgun. Arbery’s family says he was out jogging and was unarmed.
On Friday, attorneys for Gregory and Travis McMichael said that they have been vilified by an “incomplete set of facts.”
“So often the public accepts a narrative driven by an incomplete set of facts, one that vilifies a good person, based on a rush to judgement, which has happened in this case,” said Laura Hogue, an attorney for Gregory McMichael.
“While the death of Ahmaud Arbery is a tragedy, causing deep grief to his family — a tragedy that at first appears to many to fit into a terrible pattern in American life — this case does not fit that pattern,” said Frank Hogue, another attorney for Gregory McMichael.
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