Three Suspects in Fatal Shooting of Ahmaud Arbery Charged With Federal Hate Crimes

Travis and Greg McMichael and Roddie Bryan face state murder, other charges

A federal grand jury in Brunswick on Wednesday handed up a hate crimes indictment against the three men facing state murder charges in the February 2020 shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.

The indictment alleges Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and Roddie Bryan used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race. It also accuses them of trying to kidnap Arbery, 25, while he ran through the Satilla Shores neighborhood just outside of Brunswick.

The three suspects are white. Arbery was black. The maximum penalty on the hate crimes charges is life in prison.

Lawyers for the accused issued statements strongly disputing the new federal charges.

The indictment, obtained by the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Savannah, also accuses the McMichaels of using weapons during alleged crimes of violence. Travis McMichael, 35, shot and killed Arbery with a Remington shotgun and his father, a former police office and investigator, was wielding his .357 magnum revolver.

On Feb. 23, 2020, Greg McMichael, 65, saw Arbery running down the street in front of his house. McMichael called inside to his son and the two men got their weapons, jumped into a pickup truck and sped after Arbery. Bryan, 51, who lived down the street, joined in the chase and tried to block Arbery with his own pickup.

When the three men had Arbery hemmed in, Arbery lunged at Travis McMichael, who had gotten out of his truck with his shotgun trained on Arbery. Travis McMichael killed the unarmed Arbery with three blasts.

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SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bill Rankin and Asia Simone Burns