Father-son duo Gregory and Travis McMichael have accused Arbery of trying to burglarize the house he stopped at and peeked through the window of during a jog the day he was killed on Feb. 23, 2020 in coastal Georgia’s Satilla Shores community. On a 911 call, Travis can be heard describing Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, as “a Black male, red shirt, white shorts.” Travis told a dispatcher he was sitting across the street in his red Ford F-150 “watching the house” and he didn’t know if Arbery was armed “but he was acting like he was.”
The home, owned by Larry English, was under construction and occasionally attracted curious pedestrians, according to surveillance video released to the media. Elizabeth Graddy, English’s attorney, told ABC News last May although English had called the police’s nonemergency line to report that someone had been coming onto his property, he didn’t characterize it as a burglary or robbery. Nothing was ever taken, Graddy said. “Even if something had been though, I will say, Mr. English has been very clear that he would never have wanted anything like this to happen,” Graddy said.
The attorney also told ABC News the surveillance video of her client’s home couldn’t have been the justification for anything the McMichaels did “because no one even saw this video until after Mr. Arbery was dead …” She said that includes her client, who didn’t know the McMichaels and didn’t think the man shown in the surveillance footage looked like Arbery. “He did not even know it was the same person until the Arberys said that they believed it was their son in the house that day based on the video,” Graddy said.
It took 74 days for an arrest to be made after Arbery’s death. Gregory and Travis McMichael weren’t arrested until May 7, 2020, and William “Roddie” Bryan, the man who recorded the moments leading up to Arbery’s death, was arrested on May 21, 2020. “This case was almost closed,” Cooper-Jones told Reid.
Gregory McMichael used to work as an investigator with the very district attorney’s office that would have been responsible for prosecuting him, so the investigation into Arbery’s death started with that district attorney—the now-indicted former Glynn County DA Jackie Johnson— recusing herself. “It passed over to the next county, and there, the district attorney failed to disclose his close ties to this family,” Arbery family attorney Lee Merritt said, calling Arbery’s death a “lynching” last May.
The case was passed to George Barnhill, the district attorney of the Waycross Judicial Circuit, next. “Not long after Mr. Barnhill’s appointment, he and Ms. Johnson learned that Mr. Barnhill’s son, an assistant district attorney in Ms. Johnson’s office, had worked with Mr. McMichael on a prosecution involving Mr. Arbery,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said in requesting an investigation into the prosecution. “Mr. Barnhill, however, held onto the case for several more weeks after making this discovery.”
#AhmaudArbery was murdered by 3 white men that saw him running & decided to impute criminality on him. He did nothing wrong. Still he was stalked, threatened & shot 3x at close range. This was not only murder it was a lynching. Thank you @TheRevAl for standing for this family. pic.twitter.com/QYxGYBwAEK
— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) May 3, 2020
Johnson notified Carr of a conflict of interest on Feb. 27, 2020. Three days before that, Barnhill told the Glynn County Police Department on Feb. 24 that “he did not see grounds for the arrest of any of the individuals involved in Mr. Arbery’s death,” Carr said. Barnhill wrote in his recusal letter that Arbery family members “are not strangers to the local criminal justice system,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“From best we can tell, Ahmauds [sic] older brother has gone to prison in the past and is currently in the Glynn jail, without bond, awaiting new felony prosecution,” Barnhill added. “It also appears a cousin has been prosecuted by DA Johnson’s office.”
Without even knowing about those specifics, Arbery’s mother initiated the push for Barnhill’s recusal, Merritt has said.
“I do think that the murder of Ahmaud was like a modern-day lynching,” she told Reid. “Ahmaud was simply running, jogging down the street and he was chased. After he ran, however, they didn’t allow him to escape. They killed him.” She added that she has confidence in her legal team, and “we will get justice for Ahmaud.”
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Source by www.dailykos.com