Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed on February 23rd by two armed white men, with another white man recording the entire incident. On Tuesday, a Georgia prosecutor is looking to have a grand jury decide whether criminal charges should be filed, reports the LA Times.
Arbery was said to have jogged frequently in his neighborhood, and the afternoon of February 23rd was no different. In the video, you can see Arbery jogging at a steady pace. Gregory and Travis McMichael, father and son, had cut him off ahead on the road with their white pickup truck. One man was standing by the open driver’s side door, the other was in the back of the pickup truck, standing. As Arbery crosses the street to get around the truck, you can hear a gunshot go off from the other side.
When Arbery crosses the front of the truck, he grapples with the man by the driver’s side door, and a scuffle ensues over the rifle. From the back of the truck, the other armed man shoots. Arbery takes off down the street but doesn’t make it too far before he falls to the ground, dead.
The McMichaels alleged that Arbery “violently attacked” the son. From the video, you can see that this is not the case. They also said that Arbery looked like a suspect in a burglary that happened in the neighborhood earlier in the week.
The video very clearly shows the two white men confronting a man who was unarmed. The McMichael’s decided to take the law into their hands, put themselves in Arbery’s path, and become his executioner. The killing happened just a street over from where Arbery lived, his dad confirmed.
“Mr. Arbery had not committed any crime and there was no reason for these men to believe they had the right to stop him with weapons or to use deadly force in furtherance of their unlawful attempted stop,” said a statement by Lee Merritt, who represents Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper.
Tom Durden, an outside prosecutor assigned to examine the case, said he plans to have a grand jury hear the evidence in the shooting. That won’t happen for more than a month, as Georgia courts remain largely closed because of the coronavirus outbreak until at least June 13.
“I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr. Arbery,” Durden said in a statement Tuesday.
The announcement that the case will finally see a grand jury after Arbery’s mother’s lawyer posted the video to Twitter with the caption “This is murder”.
“I think the video is very clear that they were on the truck with guns hunting him down,” said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Arbery’s father. “I don’t know what more you need to make an arrest.”
The district attorney for Glynn County recused herself from the case because Gregory McMichael worked as an investigator with her in the same office. He retired a year ago. The case has been punted through three prosecutors. Finally, prosecutor Tom Durden has accepted the case, saying that after the coronavirus pandemic dissipates the case will move forward.
As of now, no arrests have been made.