White father and son charged for killing black Georgia jogger 2 months after the incident
Ø More than two months after a black man (Ahmaud Arbery) was shot to death in Georgia, the police arrested the white father and son (Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34) involved in the shooting. The two now face murder and aggravated assault charges, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
Ø There was no progress in the case over the past two months until last week, when a video of the shooting circulated widely on social media. The video triggered an outrage across the U.S.
Ø On Thursday, the GBI informed that the father and son were taken into custody. The GBI got the case Tuesday night.
Ø As per the authorities, Arbery, 25, was jogging when the father and son chased him down. Gregory McMichael is a former police officer.
Ø Gregory McMichael later told authorities that to him Arbery looked-like a suspect in a series of recent break-ins in the area.
Ø Ahmaud's sister, Jasmine Arbery told CNN that she feels it to be a hate crime incident.
Ø When asked if the GBI investigation would probe the Glynn County Police Department and the district attorney’s office, the director Victor Reynolds said the investigation would expand to what’s relevant to the case.
Ø Reynolds did not comment if the Glynn County Police Department made mistakes while investigating the case in February. Also, Reynolds said that their investigation would include William Bryan, the person who shot the video showing Arbery’s killing.
Ø Two district attorneys had recused themselves from the case.
I’ll Run With Maud
The case of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery is very tragic, and his death need not have happened that day. Gregory McMichael and Travis, his son, were arrested and charged with the murder of Arbery, whose death actually occurred more than two months ago on the streets of Glynn County, Georgia. It wasn’t until a video of the incident surfaced that public outrage drove the state to investigate the matter further, placing the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on the case.
Two District Attorneys recused themselves from the case, as both had ties to Gregory McMichael. The case took on a racial aspect as the public learned that the McMichaels are white, while Arbery was black. Arbery was suspected by the McMichael’s as being the perpetrator of a series of burglaries in the area and after seeing him checking out a construction area, they chased after him with weapons. The McMichael’s version of the incident is that they pulled alongside Arbery and asked to talk with him, at which point Arbery allegedly attacked the younger McMichael, who defended himself with his shotgun.
However, the video circulated online tells a different story, with Arbery running and the McMichael’s blocking his path. He attempts to go around their truck to avoid the armed Travis McMichael who exits the driver’s side door, but he is met at the other side by the same and they tussle over the shotgun of which the younger McMichael remains in complete control of and fires. Arbery futilely tries to land blows with his fist before attempting to run away, falling to the ground, never to rise.
It is understandable why the public would be outraged. Would they chase after Arbery if he wasn’t black? I’m licensed to carry in the State of Texas, I've been taught to deescalate, and shooting is the extreme last resort. I can’t speak for Georgians, and I wasn’t there, but the visual evidence was clear it needed not end in a death. McMichael accosted the unarmed Arbery with the gun and was in control enough to fire three shots. This was murder.
I agree with your final analysis that this was a case of murder. Under Georgia state law, Georgians are allowed to make a citizens arrest if they witness someone committing a crime. Lemuel, you said that the McMichael’s saw Ahmaud Arbery on a construction site. One, we do not know that for sure. Someone called 911 a few minutes before the shooting happened to report a “black man wearing a white t-shirt” walking around the construction site. As far as we know, the 911 call did not originate from either McMichael. Two, walking onto a half-finished construction site is not a crime.
The reason the McMichael’s gave for chasing down Arbery was that he looked like a suspect in a rash of recent home burglaries. I believe it is pretty plain to see that this was a case of two men playing cop and being the superhero.
Arbery had every right to defend himself against two strange men holding shotguns and asking to speak with him. You have two options: hand yourself over or stand and fight.
There may or may not have been a major racial factor in this incident. Yes, the McMichael’s were white, and Arbery was black, but that doesn’t prove anything. And the inflaming of racial tensions by people like LeBron James, who claimed African-Americans are “literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes,” is irresponsible.
Still, the bigger story is in the fact that this shooting happened in February, and no arrests were made until this week. The older McMichael was a former cop, and it appears that those in the DA’s office were simply not interested in prosecuting one of their old pals.
The McMichael’s must face justice for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
Arrest, investigate, and most importantly: stay calm.
The death of Ahmaud Arbery is certainly a tragedy. The McMichael’s made a grave judgement error in attempting a citizen's arrest and their actions certainly led to the downward spiral that left Arbery dead on the street. They should have been arrested two months ago and put before an impartial jury of peers. The fact that it took so long leaves some serious questions to be asked about the Glynn County law enforcement. We should follow through with due process, give the McMichael’s their day in court, grant them a presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and take note as a nation that although we live in the greatest society in history, people are still people and can often be complete and utter fools.
As for the racial aspect. There is a chance that it had something to do with this case. It is possible that the McMichaels unjustly profiled Arbery because he was black, it is also possible that they have racist tendencies. If race was indeed involved in this killing, I will still not abide a national, media-run conversation about how America is a racist, ugly place. I will ALWAYS continue to maintain that America is still the best place on earth, we are the most equal, we should still have the right to own guns, and that while some racial friction still exists it does not counterweigh the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the civil war or the thousands more who sacrificed their time in the civil rights movement.
The McMichael’s are idiots who likely (from the evidence we have as of right now) had no justifiable reason to arm themselves and swoop in vigilante style on a black man out for a run. Arbery’s response was exactly appropriate considering the fact that he was approached like this. I believe this is a moment where the Left and the Right can come together and rebuke the father and son for their foolish actions, and stress the importance of due process, presumption of innocence, and the rule of law.
Thank you, for acknowledging that racism could be a factor in this appalling murder. But let's face it; there needs to be a frank discussion about race relations and gun regulations in light of many incidents such as this one. One incident is too many.
While I am a card holding Democrat, I also have a license to carry and support the rights of citizens to own and handle a gun. But we also need to acknowledge the fact that not everyone is fit or competent enough to own a gun. With great power comes great responsibility, and the power to take life is no light matter. Sure, one can argue people use knives to kill too, but come on, we all know the saying, "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight". Therefore, at minimum a proper psychological vetting could help avoid letting guns get into the wrong hands.
Will it stop all wrongful firearm homicides? No, but it could possibly prevent many, and when I see avoidable deaths like Arbery's, it becomes more and more evident to me that there needs to be some legislation to stem the flow of guns to just anyone.
Regarding racial profiling; we need to have a good look at this issue. Granted, this incident doesn't prove a racial motive automatically just because the players were of different races. But there is probable reason to believe there was. How many incidents have to happen like this where a black man is killed, and it is assumed he deserved it so it isn't investigated further until there is some public outcry?
I'm all for due process, but Arbery almost never had his due process. Not that it would benefit him anymore, but at least his family can see justice done.
With all that said, I'm still proud to be an American, because in America we can have these discussions, and we can bring to light issues that need to be addressed. Hopefully we can address them before a tragedy like this brings them to our attention again.