The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has charged two white men for murder and aggravated assault in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was jogging in a Georgia residential area when officials say the alleged killers “confronted him with two firearms.”
“On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was in the Still Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia, when both Gregory and Travis McMichael confronted Arbery with two firearms. During the encounter, Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery,” reads a Thursday evening GBI press release.
Gregory McMichael, 64, is a former police officer. His 34-year-old son, Travis, helped him chase down and kill Arbery, officials say. The elder McMichael initially told police that he thought Arbery looked like a suspect in some recent area break-ins. Arbery was not a suspect, however.
The charges came only after public outcry, triggered in part by leaked footage showing the confrontation and Arbery’s final moments. GBI began its investigation at the request of Liberty County District Attorney Tom Durden on May 6. Though local officials still have not brought charges after more than two months, GBI brought charges within one day of reviewing the case. The bureau says it will discuss the case more during a press briefing tomorrow morning.
“Just for all is just not specific enough.”
In a statement earlier today before the arrests, the Georgia NAACP announced that it will hold a rally tomorrow in honor of what would have been Ahmaud Arbery’s 26th birthday. The civil rights organization called for local prosecutors to “resign immediately” because of their inaction since February. The NAACP specifically singled out George Barnhill, the district attorney for the Waycross Judicial Circuit, and Jackie Johnson, the district attorney for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit.
“Justice for all is just not specific enough.”
—Rev. James Woodall, Georgia NAACP president
“We will continue the pressure to ensure justice in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. … The Brunswick community should feel safe, yet emboldened racists due to judicial inaction endanger them. Because of this, we rally in solidarity,” the May 7 Georgia NAACP statement reads.
Two days ago, Georgia NAACP President Rev. James Woodall said the case demonstrated once again the criminal justice disparities that African Americans deal with every day in America.
“The fact that the McMichaels have yet to be arrested in this matter is evidence enough for what we all know to be true—justice for all is just not specific enough,” Woodall said in a May 5 statement. “We will continue to work with the family and community leaders to remove these two from their office and ensure justice is served.”
GBI is asking anyone with information to contact the bureau at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477).