Ahmaud Arbery Preliminary Hearing: “He ran until he couldn’t run anymore”
However bad you think that video was, the facts coming out of the preliminary hearing for the McMichaels, who are charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery, are worse. Namely, we know now that by the time the now-infamous video of the slaying started, Arbery had already been hit by a truck and shot in the chest.
William Bryan told investigators he heard Travis McMichael use a racial epithet after fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent testified Thursday during preliminary hearings.
Bryan told police McMichael said “f***ing n***er” after three blasts from McMichael’s shotgun left Arbery dead in the streets of the Satilla Shores neighborhood in February, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Dial said. Body camera footage also showed a Confederate flag sticker on the toolbox of McMichael’s truck, he said.
On cross-examination, Dial testified that Bryan mentioned the slur in a May 13 GBI interview, and to Dial’s knowledge, Bryan had not previously made the allegation, including during a May 11 interview.
However, the agent said, there were “numerous times” on social media and via messaging services that McMichael used the same slur, once messaging someone that he loved his job because there “weren’t any N-words anywhere.
In another instance sometime before the shooting, he replied in an Instagram message saying things would be better if someone had “blown that N-word’s head off,” Dial testified. Dial did not say to whom McMichael was referring. Dial was not asked for more context.
The allegations came as Dial outlined events that led to Arbery’s death and said that before Arbery was shot, the three men charged in his murder engaged in an elaborate chase, hitting the 25-year-old jogger with a truck as he tried to escape them.
Asked if he believed McMichael could’ve been acting in self-defense, Dial said the opposite was true.
“I believe Mr. Arbery was being pursued, and he ran till he couldn’t run anymore, and it was turn his back to a man with a shotgun or fight with his bare hands against the man with the shotgun. He chose to fight,” he said. “I believe Mr. Arbery’s decision was to just try to get away, and when he felt like he could not escape he chose to fight.”
Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr. faces charges in Arbery’s killing.
As Travis and his father Gregory McMichael attempted to head him off, Arbery turned and ran past the truck of Bryan, who filmed the killing, and Bryan struck Arbery with the side of his truck, Dial said.
Bryan told police that at one point he thought Arbery was trying to enter his truck, Dial said, adding that he didn’t know if that was true but he felt Arbery was trying to escape.
I don’t use this word lightly–pretty sure I’ve never had to use it in writing before–but let’s call this by the name that it is:
This was a lynching.
You can watch the testimony quoted above here at the 3:19:00 mark, how this was not only not self- defense by the McMichaels, but was self-defense by Arbery after being hunted down.
Give the McMichaels, Bryant, and whoever else is involved the fair trial they are entitled to. But may they get justice, swiftly, for what they did to Ahmaud Arbery: denying him the basic rights of not being hunted down, struck by a truck, shot in the chest, and then killed when he had the gall to try and defend himself. They killed him because, in the words of Bryant, they “felt Arbery was trying to escape.” They murdered a black man for not doing what they told him to do, because they assumed he had done something wrong, then stood over his body uttering slurs while Arbery left this life in a pool of his own blood, all because of the McMichaels’ feelings, assumptions, and prejudices.
That’s a lynching. No other word for it.
There is a lot of wicked in the authorities in Brunswick who tried to sweep all this under the rug, excuse it, and justify it. Every single one of them should be brought up on charges as well. The McMichaels and Bryant will stand trial first, but it shouldn’t end there.
To hell with all of them. But since that isn’t in our purview to designate as punishment, because unlike the McMichaels we realize we are not God, we are left to trust the justice system to make this right.
Not sure there is such a thing in this case.
God have mercy on us all for that.