Gregory and Travis Mcmichael of Brunswick Georgia arrested & charged with the murder of unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery. A failure of justice and racial profiling.
A Georgia father and son have been arrested more than two months after gunning down an unarmed black jogger who they had claimed was responsible for a series of robberies in the area.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, of Brunswick were taken into custody Thursday night and booked into the Glynn County Jail. In a release, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said both men were charged with murder and aggravated assault, following the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.
On Feb. 23, Arbery was jogging through the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick when Gregory and Travis McMichael confronted Arbery.
The pair reportedly said they were trying to make a citizen’s arrest because they suspected Arbery was a burglar.
Despite Arbery’s shooting death, Georgia authorities declined to further intercede and had relied on the father’s testimony that he believed he ‘had confronted’ a criminal perpetrator. Of note, Gregory McMichael, had worked as a police officer prior to his retirement, leading many to wonder if the father’s claims were simply taken at face value and suggestive of ‘old boy’s network.’
Photos showing the arrest of Gregory & Travis McMichael in Brunswick, GA @FCN2go pic.twitter.com/HvGwDpN0on
— Shelby Danielsen (@NewsShelby) May 8, 2020
Firing at point blank range:
According to a police report at the time, Gregory McMichael told the officer responding to the shooting that there had been several break-ins in the neighborhood and that he was in his front yard when he saw the ‘suspect from the break-ins’ running down Satilla Drive.
Arbery’s death was videoed by a neighbor and released to the public by an attorney Tuesday.
Footage shows (see below – graphic) Arbery at a jogging pace on the left side of a road. A truck is parked in the road ahead of him. Gregory is inside the pickup’s bed, while Travis is standing beside the open driver’s side door.
Arbery crosses the road to pass the pickup on the passenger side, then crosses back in front of the truck.
A gunshot sounds, and the video shows Arbery grappling with Travis in the street over what appears to be a shotgun or rifle. A second shot can be heard, and Arbery can be seen punching Travis. A third shot is fired at point-blank range. Arbery staggers a few feet and falls face down.
During initial police questioning, Gregory McMichael said he’d seen the same man on a previous night and that he stuck his hand down his pants which led him to believe that he was armed.
Racial profiling as calls for justice is made:
Arbery’s killing and the delay in charges has lead to protests and national attention and once again highlighted the rampant issue of racial profiling that often sees ‘people of color’ presumed to be afoul of the law. The victim’s family has since called their son’s murder a ‘lynching,’ and a ‘hate crime.’
It wasn’t until after video emerged of Arbery being gunned down that the GBI took over the investigation earlier this week.
Told Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper via CBS after release of video footage, ‘it proves that my son was not committing a crime. He was out for his daily jog and he was hunted down like an animal and killed.’
Told Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery Sr via the Associated Press, ‘The video is very clear that they were on the truck with guns hunting him down. I don’t know what more you need to make an arrest.”
Responding to the arrests, Attorney Merritt, who is representing Arbery’s parents said he had no pre warning that the GBI would be taking imminent action.
‘They heard about it on the news like everyone else,’ the lawyer told the dailymail.
Merritt said he was heartened by the fact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had stepped up after the original team of police and prosecutors assigned to the case ‘failed in their duty’ to make arrests.
‘A case like this breeds mistrust within the community. It hurts the people involved, it hurts the law enforcement community, the prosecutorial community, the black community, everyone,’ he added.
A grand jury will not hear the case until at least June because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The GBI plans to hold a press conference at 9 a.m. Friday in Brunswick.