Three men stand trial for allegedly murdering Georgia resident Ahmaud Arbery, 25. Opening statements are scheduled to begin on Friday, Nov. 5. Court is expected to last two to three weeks. You can watch in the player above.
According to the police report, gunman Travis McMichael, 35, and his father Gregory McMichael, 65, chased Arbery, believing him to be responsible for recent suspected break-ins. They were respectively armed with a shotgun and a .357 magnum. According to an investigator’s testimony, Gregory McMichael called the suspicion a “gut feeling.” The victim’s family, however, said Arbery was just jogging in the area. The owner of a related property under construction said it never experienced robberies.
William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, who recorded the fatal confrontation from another vehicle, was charged with murder just like the McMichaels. Gregory McMichael allegedly described him as an active participant in the chase.
“McMichael stated the unidentified male turned around and began running back the direction from which he came and ‘Roddy’ [sic] attempted to block him which was unsuccessful,” cops wrote.
As seen on video, Arbery and Travis McMichael engaged in a struggle, but McMichael shot him.
Ahmaud Arbery’s murder was caught on video! It’s graphic but must be shared. @BenCrumpLaw will be representing Ahmaud’s father Marcus Arbery as we seek justice in this modern-day lynching. Everyone must know the truth! #JusticeforAhmaudArbery pic.twitter.com/y4kBgRJ8X6
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) May 5, 2020
The defense has asserted that McMichael acted in self-defense, but Arbery’s family has sued, saying the men chased Ahmaud down and murdered him. Authorities have said Travis McMichael called the man a “fucking n****r” after the shooting and before police arrived. The alleged use of the slur exacerbated what was already a fraught incident. Arbery was Black, and the defendants are white.
“On the afternoon of February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, a young Black man, laced up his running shoes and went for a jog,” the family’s lawsuit stated. “An avid runner, Ahmaud frequently jogged around his neighborhood and surrounding areas in Brunswick, Georgia, including Satilla Shores. But February 23, 2020, was different. That day three armed white men, Defendants Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan — entrusted by local law enforcement to respond to recent trespasses in the area, and armed with a Police-Department-issued revolver and a 12-gauge shotgun — hunted Ahmaud down in their trucks. Based on a ‘gut feeling’ that Ahmaud was responsible for prior thefts in the neighborhood, these Defendants shot Ahmaud three times at close range with their shotgun and killed him. As Ahmaud lay bleeding out on the pavement, Defendant Travis McMichael stood above him and said, ‘fucking N*****.’”
Race is an indelible part of this case. That dynamic extended to jury selection, with the defense managing to strike 11 out of 12 of the Black potential jurors.
MEANING in the trial of Ahmaud Arbery there will be ELEVEN White jurors and ONE African American juror hearing the murder trial against the #McMichaels and #Bryan
— Brian G. Buckmire (@BuckEsq) November 3, 2021
The McMichaels and Bryan were indicted in state court for one count of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of engaging in a criminal attempt to commit a felony. The three men also face hate crime charges in federal court.
[Image of Arbery via office of attorney Ben Crump; booking photos of the McMichaels and Bryan via Glynn County; screenshot of the fatal confrontation via Ben Crump]
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