What You Need To Know:
It was just a year ago today that 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery took a jog in the Saltillo Shores neighborhood near Brunswick, Georgia. But somehow February 23, 2020 was different.
Ahmaud’s quick detour through a home under construction was enough to convince Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, to grab their guns and pursue Ahmaud in their pickup truck on burglary suspicions. Mind you, footage has surfaced of others visiting and burglarizing the home in question, all of whom looked nothing like Ahmaud. William “Roddie” Bryan decided to join the chase while recording video with his phone. Travis McMichael shot Ahmaud three times at point-blank range with a 12-gauge shotgun after Ahmaud and he struggled for what appears to be Ahmaud’s life and safety.
The McMichaels benefited from Gregory’s former employment with Wayne County Police Department and district attorney, who justified the shooting as self defense during a citizen’s arrest. The only reason the McMichaels and Bryan were finally arrested in May 2020 was because video of the shooting was leaked by an attorney who was not affiliated with the case and it went viral. Since then, the McMichaels and Bryan have been held without bond on charges of murder and false imprisonment. All jury trials in Georgia have been suspended through March 9 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The district attorneys and assistant prosecuting attorney are also under investigation by the FBI, GBI, and DOJ for delaying the initial case.
Why We Need to Know:
Georgia instated hate crime laws for the first time and changed its 150-year-old citizens arrest law after Ahmaud’s murder. Despite delays due to the pandemic, Ahmaud’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, said, “I got a call from the DA’s office…that the case is moving forward…my prayer is to have all the defendants go to prison forever, that they’re never allowed to walk on free soil again.”