By Frederick H. Lowe
The Georgia Bureau of investigation on Thursday arrested a father and son, charging them with the murder of a black jogger more than three months after the deadly shooting, but only two days after a cellphone video surfaced that sparked national outrage and demands for justice.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, were charged with murder and aggravated assault for the February 23 deadly shooting of Amaud Arbery, 25, as he jogged through the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia, according to the GBI. The McMichaels were booked into the Glynn County Jail.
Arbery, who would have celebrated his 26th birthday Friday, was out for a run when Gregory McMichael,64, a retired Glynn County cop, and now an investigator for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit district attorney, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, and another man only identified as “Roddy” chased down Arbery in their pickup truck and another vehicle before confronting and killing him.
The elder McMichael claims Arbery had been burglarizing houses in the neighborhood and that’s why they chased him down. Gregory McMichael was armed with a .357 Magnum revolver and Travis was armed with a shot gun. It is not known what type of weapon, if any, Roddy carried.
When the men caught up with Arbery, the video, which appears to have been shot from inside a vehicle, shows he jogged around the truck. Travis, however, got out of the vehicle, struggled with Arbery over the rifle before Travis shot him twice, killing him.
Police refused to charge the McMichael’s for Arberry’s murder, arguing that Travis Michael shot Arberry in self defense. The police did not say anything about Arberry having the right to defend himself from two men with guns accosting him.
Police arrested the McMichaels following the release of a video on Tuesday.
Alan Tucker, an attorney and friend of the two men, said he released the video to clear up any misconceptions about what had happened.
The video, however, alarmed elected officials, including Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. Others said Arbery had been lynched.
The politicians demanded that police arrest the McMichaels
The case is being investigated through a partnership between District Attorney Tom Durden, the district attorney in Hinesville, Liberty County, Georgia, and the GBI. The GBI is also investigating the public release of the video that shows Arbery’s murder.