Gregory and Travis McMichael Arrested in Slaying of Ahmaud Arbery
After a week of increasing outrage after video of the incident surfaced, and nearly three months after the fact, arrests have been made in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
Two men have been arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault for the February shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested on Thursday and will be booked into the Glynn County Jail.
Cellphone video showing the moment has prompted national outrage since surfacing online this week, but his mother said she can’t bring herself to watch it.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be in a mental state where I can actually watch the video. I had others that watched it that shared what they saw and that just was enough,” Wanda Cooper-Jones told ABC News in an interview that aired Thursday on “Good Morning America.”
In the 28-second video, Arbery, who is black, can be seen jogging around a neighborhood just outside the port city of Brunswick on a sunny afternoon in late February. The footage ends with two loud gunshots.
Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael, who are both white, told police they grabbed their guns and hopped in their truck to pursue Arbery after seeing him running in their neighborhood, because they believed he was responsible for several recent burglaries. The father claimed his son got out of the truck holding a shotgun and was attacked by Arbery, according to a police report obtained by ABC News.
The two men tussled over the firearm before Arbery was shot, as seen in the cellphone video, which was allegedly taken by a bystander.
Arbery, who lived in Brunswick, one town over from where the McMichaels reside, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Glynn County coroner. No weapons were found on him, according to the police report.
Nearly three months after the killing, no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed in the case.
“I’m managing, it’s really hard,” Arbery’s mother told ABC News Thursday. “It’s really been hard.”
Cooper-Jones said she believes authorities haven’t made any arrests because Gregory McMichael had a lengthy career as an investigator in the Brunswick district attorney’s office before recently retiring.
“I think that they don’t feel like he was wrong because he was one of them,” she said.
After the video circulated on social media Tuesday, a large crowd of protesters marched through the neighborhood where Arbery was killed. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations announced Wednesday that it was opening its own probe into the Feb. 23 incident.
Like everyone else all I know is what I’ve read, and what I saw on that video. Based on the information we have, the McMichaels escalated the situation at every point it could have, and should have, been let go. They armed themselves without good cause, chased an unarmed man on foot in vehicles, made repeated attempts to corner him, then when finally pinned him down and he tried to defend himself, they murdered him.
Every excuse for what the McMichaels did that has so far been proffered are excuses based on circumstances they themselves created. They could have, should have, let him go. They didn’t have any authority or right to chase someone, anyone, down the road. They had no authority to detain anyone at gunpoint. They had no cause or authority to threaten him regardless what they “thought” he was doing.
What Ahmaud Arbery did prior to, or was intending to do afterward, is irrelevant to the decision making of the McMichaels. Ahmaud Arbery was alive in the morning, and dead in the evening, because of a chain of decisions the McMichaels purposefully made. Now, at least, it looks like they will have to answer for it.
May justice be done upon them. Ahmaud Arbery, who would be having his birthday tomorrow had the McMichaels not killed him, is entitled to that much, at least.