The white father and son ‘vigilantes’ who shot and killed unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia have been charged with his murder.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested on Thursday and booked into Glynn County Jail on charges of murder and aggravated assault.
Arbery, 25, was out for a run in suburban Brunswick on February 23 when the McMichaels confronted him with rifles in the street because they said they believed he was a burglar.
The case made headlines again this week as shocking cellphone video of the moment three shotgun blasts killed Arbery sparked widespread outrage and demands for justice.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation released a statement shortly after the swoops saying the two men were arrested on suspicion of murder and aggravated assault.
And in a fresh twist, the agency said it was also investigating threats made towards its officers and people involved in the investigation.
GBI took over the investigation on Tuesday after the video emerged.
Republican Gov Brian Kemp told reporters that he’s confident the agency will ‘find the truth’.
‘Earlier this week, I watched the video depicting Mr Arbery’s last moments alive,’ Kemp told a news conference in Atlanta. ‘I can tell you it’s absolutely horrific, and Georgians deserve answers.’
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, has said she believes her son, a former football player, was just jogging in the Satilla Shores neighborhood before he was killed on a Sunday afternoon.
Gregory McMichael told police he suspected the runner was the same man filmed by a security camera committing a break-in. He and his grown son, Travis McMichael, grabbed guns and began a pursuit in the truck.
The video shows a black man running at a jogging pace on the left side of a road. A truck is parked in the road ahead of him. One of the white men is inside the pickup’s bed. The other is standing beside the open driver’s side door.
The runner 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 the runner grappling with a man in the street over what appears to be a shotgun or rifle.
A second shot can be heard, and the runner can be seen punching the man.
A third shot is fired at point-blank range.
The runner staggers a few feet and falls face down.
Brunswick defense attorney Alan Tucker identified himself Thursday as the person who shared the video with the radio station.
In a statement, Tucker said he does not currently represent anyone involved in the case. He said he released the video ‘because my community was being ripped apart by erroneous accusations and assumptions.’
The outcry over the killing reached the White House, where President Donald Trump offered condolences Thursday to Arbery’s family.
‘It’s a very sad thing,’ Trump said in the Oval Office, ‘but I will be given a full report this evening.’
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has called Arbery´s death a ‘murder.’ During an online roundtable Thursday, Biden compared the video to seeing Arbery ‘lynched before our very eyes.’
Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson recused herself from the case because Gregory McMichael worked as an investigator in her office. He retired last year.
The shooting is now in the hands of an outside prosecutor, Tom Durden, who said Monday that he wants a grand jury to decide whether charges are warranted. With Georgia courts still largely closed because of the coronavirus, the soonest that could happen is mid-June.
Source: Daily Mail