Ahmaud Arbery: Two men arrested and charged over fatal shooting of black jogger in Georgia

Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael pursued Mr Arbery through residential area of Brunswick before killing him

Samuel Lovett
Friday 08 May 2020 15:46 BST
The McMichaels are arrested for murder of Ahmaud Arbery

Two American men have been arrested and charged with murder for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man while he was jogging.

Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, pursued 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery while he was out for a run near the city of Brunswick, Georgia. They then confronted him and shot him.

The men told police they had chased Mr Arbery in their neighbourhood in February because they suspected him of being a burglar.

The McMichaels, aged 64 and 34, were taken into custody on Thursday and will be booked into Glynn County Jail.

It took police more than two months to charge the men, who are white, and action was only taken when the shooting was covered in national media and provoked outrage.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests the day after it began its own investigation at the request of an outside prosecutor.

Gregory McMichael had served as an investigator for Glynn County district attorney Jackie Johnson, and retired last year. Due to conflicts of interest, the case is now on its third prosecutor, who said he will ask a grand jury to bring charges.

National outrage over the case swelled this week after a video was released that appeared to show the shooting.

NBA star LeBron James tweeted: “We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can’t even go for a damn jog man!

“I’m sorry Ahmaud (Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the heavens above to your family.”

Mr Arbery’s mother, Wanda Jones, said the footage proves her son was not committing a crime.

“He was out for his daily jog and he was hunted down like an animal and killed,” she said. “I’m hoping that all involved, they’re indicted and they go to jail.”

At a news conference before the arrests were announced on Thursday, Republican governor Brian Kemp said he was confident state investigators would “find the truth”.

“Earlier this week, I watched the video depicting Mr Arbery’s last moments alive,” Mr Kemp told reporters in Atlanta.

“I can tell you it’s absolutely horrific, and Georgians deserve answers.”

Former Georgia congresswoman Stacey Abrams said the arrests marked an “important first step, but the first of many”.

Additional reporting by agencies

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