In February, a 25-year-old named Ahmaud Arbery was going for an afternoon jog outside of Brunswick, Georgia when he was chased down by a former police officer and his son, according to local authorities. Gregory McMichael and his son Travis say they thought Arbery looked like someone they suspected of a smattering of local break-ins. Travis produced a shotgun, a struggled ensued, two shots were fired and Arbery was killed.
New footage has emerged confirming initial reports, adding yet another tragic story to the seemingly endless list of innocent black men killed for no reason. You can watch the video here but be warned, it is disturbing.
No arrests have been made, but Tom Durden, the district attorney for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, wrote in a news release obtained by CNN that he plans to present the case to the next available grand jury in Glynn County after the coronavirus pandemic lifts. S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Arbery family, says that the two men “must be taken into custody pending their indictment.”
Governor Brian Kemp tweeted that “Georgians deserve answers” and pledged to send resources to the investigation. State Attorney General Chris Carr said he was “deeply concerned” by the video.
A local reporter captured footage of a local protest.
— Bridgette Matter (@bridgetteANjax) May 5, 2020
Defenders of the men say McMichael’s actions fall within Georgia’s parameters for a citizen arrest law, a claim the family’s attorney disputes.
“The decision to rely on the citizen’s arrest statute is really a recent invention, prior to that they just simply said it was self-defense,” Merritt told CNN. “According to that law, you actually have to be observing the crime or be in the immediate knowledge of the crime,” Merritt said. “The only thing they have ever said is … that Ahmaud stopped by a house that was under construction and he looked through the window. We don’t know if that happened or not, but even if that did happen that is not a felony that would invoke the citizen’s arrest statute that would make this allowable.”