The Case of Ahmaud Arbery
By: Liz Valls
Photo by: Rayford/ Getty Images
The death of Ahmaud Arbery was on February 23 of last year. He was out on a run when two white men shot and killed him in broad daylight. Even though all the evidence was there, arrests weren’t made until May. Gregory McMicheal, a former police officer, and Travis McMicheal, his son, were arrested on May 7 and charged with murder. William Bryan, someone who had filmed the assault and murder was then arrested two weeks later charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. This case didn’t have any recognition until the death of George Floyd which eventually led the murderers to be brought in front of a jury a month later in June.
Gregory McMicheal has claimed that Mr. Arbery looked like a suspect who was a part of a break-in around the neighborhood. The two men chased Mr. Arbery down the street and tried to cut him off, he eventually went and hid in a house that was under construction. The two white men stepped out of their truck with a loaded shotgun. Mr. McMicheal says that Ahmaud Arbery had a weapon and had “violently attacked him” which led to a gunshot being fired. Bystanders and formal police documents say this is false. Mr. Bryan had filmed a video, which police say he played a key role in this “team” trying to pursue Mr. Arbery. The video is about thirty seconds long and has been taken in a vehicle. The video shows Mr. Arbery running and the McMicheal’s jumping out of their truck loaded with both a shotgun and handgun. Mr. Arberey runs out of the frame and that is when three gunshots are heard. He comes back trying to run away but stumbles to the ground in only a few strides. In the video, the suspects said racial slurs just after the gunshots are fired.
Mr. Arbery’s defenders concluded he was out for a jog to get exercise, as his family said he did so often to stay in shape. Although the McMicheal’s had carried their guns legally under a law in Georgia, it doesn’t give them the right to chase down and murder an unarmed black man. Many officials, including current president Joe Biden, had said they wanted to look further into this case as Ahmaud Arbery was “murdered in cold blood.” The two men are now wanting to ban the word “victim” in their trials as they still stand their ground and choose to believe Mr. Arbery was the aggressor in this situation, despite all the true evidence that has been obtained. Gregory and Travis McMicheal are still awaiting their sentencing and until then they remain in custody.