Twitter wants justice for Ahmaud Arbery after a video allegedly showing the 25-year-old’s fatal shooting started circulating on social media this week.
According to reports, the black Georgia man was jogging in a neighborhood outside Brunswick on February 23 when a white former police officer Gregory McMichael and his son Travis chased Ahmaud down and ultimately shot him.
The video — which was posted online Tuesday by a local radio station host — lines up with Gregory’s description of the shooting. The former investigator later told police he spotted Arbery on foot “hauling ass” down Satilla Drive and immediately thought he was a burglar who had recently been targeting the area.
The McMichaels both armed themselves (the 64-year-old took a .357 Magnum while his 34-year-old son grabbed a shotgun), jumped into their pickup truck, and chased Arbery before a third man, identified as a neighbor, joined them.
Gregory told police he shouted at Arbery to stop. When they caught up to the unarmed jogger, Arbery and Travis struggled over the shotgun. McMichael said two shots were fired before Arbery fell to the street. The police report stated:
“McMichael stated (that) the unidentified male began to violently attack Travis and the two men then started fighting over the shotgun at which point Travis fired a shot and then a second later there was a second shot.”
It’s unclear what occurred before the events shown in the video, but it starts with Arbery jogging down a road as a white pickup truck is stopped in front of him. Arbery runs around the vehicle and a shot is fired, then appears to tussle with another man as two more shots are fired.
**WARNING: DISTURBING VIDEO**
“The series of events captured in this video confirm what all the evidence indicated prior to its release— Ahmaud Arbery was pursued by three white men that targeted him solely because of his race and murdered him without justification. This is murder.” pic.twitter.com/v4TAs0RjO7
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 5, 2020
The investigation is ongoing, but neither the father nor son has been arrested or charged yet.
On Tuesday, District Attorney Thomas Durden announced that a grand jury should decide to file charges. Durden is the third district attorney to have the case after the other two prosecutors’ offices recused themselves because of potential conflicts of interest, as Gregory is a retired investigator for the local prosecutor in Brunswick.
The legal proceeding can’t go forward until June 12 because the courts are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but prosecutor Lee Merritt noted that authorities don’t need to wait for a grand jury to make arrests. The lawyer said he believes the shooter’s intention was to kill the Arbery “without any proper justification,” and he called the former high school athlete’s death a “modern-day lynching.”
Many on Twitter agree. The hashtag #JusticeforAhmaudArbery started trending hours after the video circulated, with thousands calling for the arrest of the McMichaels.
[Image via Georgia NAACP]