The Cold-Blooded Murder of Ahmaud Arbery
On February 23, Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot and killed by two white men while jogging through a neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia. On May 5, a new video was released that appeared to show that the incident was not the “self-defense from a burglar” that the two suspects claimed. The video has sparked protests and demands for the arrest of the two men who shot him.
Update 5/8/20: Both men have been arrested and charged with murder.
What I saw on the video is disturbing and wrong and looks like a criminal act. It must be thoroughly investigated and I can't imagine why it has taken this long to come to light. https://t.co/uFC3bhzJ8m
— Doug Collins (@CollinsforGA) May 7, 2020
Gregory, Travis’ father, told police he was in his house when Arbery jogged by, so he alerted his son and they both armed themselves “because they didn’t know if the black man was armed.” Gregory McMichael got his .357 magnum, and Travis McMichael armed himself with a shotgun. They claimed that the man matched the description of someone who had been burglarizing the neighorhood, so they were going to make a “citizen’s arrest.” They claimed that they shot him because he “attacked” them and it was ‘self-defense.’ (Arbery was unarmed).
Keep in mind that Gregory McMichael is a former police officer and investigator for the Prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor has recused herself from the investigation; the case has been changed to another county.
It is unclear what time of day the ‘burglaries’ occurred in this neighborhood. Broad daylight is not the normal time for burglaries, although they do sometimes happen at that time. A man jogging down the street is not quite the typical burglar, no matter what color he is. Running and jogging are two different things, and without a “furtive” action involved, it’s highly unlikely that Arbery was a burglar.[Note: a “citizen’s arrest normally involves holding a suspect until police arrive. Although laws vary by state, none of the actions of the McMichaels appear to relate to their claims.]
There are several things in the video that are deeply disturbing, according to Court TV.
In the video, Arbery is seen jogging down the street when he comes upon a truck parked in the middle of the road with two armed men in it blocking his path. He first attempts to go around the truck, which anyone would do. Then a shot rings out, and Arbery struggles with the man who torched off the round from a shotgun (Travis McMichael). Again, Arbery did not initiate any physical contact until AFTER the first shot was fired. The “attack” part of the narrative falls apart at that moment. Then two more shots, and Arbery tries to run but falls to the ground and dies.
Someone is videotaping the incident from their cellphone. Why was the person with the cell phone following Arbery or the two armed men? Someone called 911 to report a “black man running” just prior to the shooting.
The two white men, Gregory and Travis McMichael are still free, two months after the shooting. The “special prosecutor” assigned to handle the explosive situation wants a Grand Jury to decide whether there’s an arrest, which likely won’t happen until at least mid-June due to the pandemic lockdowns. That could change with the release of the cellphone video.
The news media are calling the two McMichaels “vigilantes,” which is possible. It could also be a racial case, or a combination of both. Either way, it was disturbing. At this point no arrests have been made and no charges filed.
Featured photo: screenshot from video- Arbery struggles with Travis McMichael