The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested father and son Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, on Thursday in connection with the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, whose mother says was out on his “daily jog” at the time of his death.
“They were both charged with murder and aggravated assault. The McMichaels were taken into custody and will be booked into the Glynn County Jail,” said the bureau.
The shooting, which occurred in February, gained widespread national attention after footage of Arbery’s final moments circulated online.
The video shows Arbery running down the street in the direction of a white pickup truck, where Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael, father and son, can be seen armed and waiting for Arbery, who they allegedly believed was a suspect in a recent string of burglaries. When Arbery approaches the truck, he goes around the passenger’s side, and a struggle breaks out between him and Travis McMichael, who is holding a shotgun.
Lee Meritt, a lawyer for the victim’s family, believes Arbery was racially profiled in the moments leading up to his death.
The footage, shown below, is graphic:
“The series of events captured in this video confirm what all the evidence indicated prior to its release— Ahmaud Arbery was pursued by three white men that targeted him solely because of his race and murdered him without justification. This is murder.” pic.twitter.com/v4TAs0RjO7
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 5, 2020
“He was out for his daily jog and he was hunted down like an animal and killed,” Wanda Jones, the victim’s mother, told CBS News in an interview after video of the incident circulated online.
Tom Durden, the third prosecutor assigned to the case in two months, announced shortly after the footage circulated that the case would be reviewed by a grand jury once court business is allowed to resume.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Gregory McMichael, a former investigator with the local district attorney’s office, told police that he saw the man running and thought he was a suspect in a recent series of burglaries, according to a police report obtained by The New York Times.
Since the incident, two prosecutors have recused themselves from the case. George Barnhill, the second prosecutor, told a police chief in a letter obtained by The New York Times that he was recusing himself at the request of the victim’s mother. In the same letter, Barnill also argued that he did not believe there was sufficient evidence to make any arrests.
Given the fact Arbery initiated the fight, at the point Arbery grabbed the shotgun, under Georgia Law, McMichael was allowed to use deadly force to protect himself.
In a statement to The New York Times, Michael J. Moore, a former U.S. attorney in Atlanta, said that after reviewing Barnhill’s letter and the police report, he believed that Barnhill’s opinion was “flawed.”
“The law does not allow a group of people to form an armed posse and chase down an unarmed person who they believe might have possibly been the perpetrator of a past crime,” said Moore.
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