Ahmaud Arbery Murder Trial Jury Views Video Of Arbery Roaming Vacant Property

Arbery was fatally shot in Glynn County, Georgia, in February last year.
BRUNSWICK, GA - OCTOBER 18: A demonstrator holds a sign at the Glynn County Courthouse as jury selection begins in the trial of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery on October 18, 2021 in Brunswick, Georgia. Three white men are accused of chasing down and murdering Arbery in southeastern Georgia last year. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The trial of three men for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery continued on Thursday with the jury viewing a video of Arbery roaming around a vacant property. In the moments after Arbery left the property, he was pursued by a group of men through a neighborhood for several minutes and then fatally shot.

Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was chased by three white male residents of the neighborhood. Travis McMichael, 35, and his father Gregory McMichael, 65, armed themselves with guns and pursued Arbery in a pickup truck after he ran past their yard, which was five houses down from the unfinished property. Their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, followed Arbery in another car. Arbery then had a confrontation with Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery as he ran in front of the pickup truck.

All three men are now on trial for murder.

The jury on Thursday watched security footage of other people walking through the unfinished house. One video showed two boys with bicycles walking into the area that would become the garage to take some plywood. Another shows a woman and a man carrying a small bag walking through the property at night.

Jurors also watched videos of Arbery roaming the property, including along the boat dock in the backyard, five different times between Oct. 25, 2019, and Feb. 23, 2020. The last occasion came minutes before he was chased by the three men and shot.

Thursday marks the fifth day of the trial since it began last Friday.

On the first day of the trial, Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, broke down in tears as the video of her son’s fatal shooting was played for jurors.

The three men argue that they were chasing Arbery to make a citizen’s arrest following several break-ins that had recently occurred in the area. Greg McMichael told police that his son shot Arbery in self-defense after Arbery attempted to attack Travis McMichael with his fists and tried to grab the younger McMichael’s shotgun.

On Thursday, one of the defense attorneys took issue with Al Sharpton’s prior presence in the courthouse, and said, “we don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here.”

“The idea that we’re going to be serially bringing these people in to sit with the victim’s family, one after another — obviously, there’s only so many pastors they can have,” Kevin Gough, who represents William “Roddie” Bryan, told the court.

“And if their pastor’s Al Sharpton right now, that’s fine, but that’s it. We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here. Jesse Jackson, or whoever was in here earlier this week, sitting with the victim’s family trying to influence the jury in this case,” Gough added.

Judge Timothy Walmsley did not buy the attorney’s argument, however.

“I can tell you this: I’m not going to start blanketly excluding members of the public from this courtroom,” the judge responded.

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