The shooting case of Ahmaud Arbery has taken a dramatic turn this week with allegations that the shooter used the N-word shortly after allegedly killing the unarmed black 25-year-old.
According to Fox News, William Bryan, the friend who shot the infamous video of Gregory and Travis McMichael chasing Ahmaud Arbery down before allegedly killing him, told a Glynn County court this week that Travis McMichael said “f***ing n****r” after the confrontation.
“William Bryan, the man who shot the infamous viral video of Arbery’s death, told investigators that ex-cop Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, chased Arbery with their truck and blocked his exit before opening fire and killing the young black man,” reported the outlet. “That admission, along with the use of racial expletives, will likely factor into the Department of Justice’s decision whether to pursue federal hate crime charges against Arbery’s accused killers.”
On February 23, Ahmaud Arbery was seen running through a neighborhood in Satilla Shores, Georgia, where residents reportedly saw him enter a house that was under construction. Released surveillance cam footage shows Arbery entering the house and observing the area for a few minutes before leaving with nothing in his possession. During this time, a 911 call was reportedly made alerting the police to Arbery’s presence.
According to Gregory McMichael, he spotted Arbery running down the street and thought he resembled a man believed to have committed a previous burglary. Suspecting that Arbery may be armed and dangerous, despite the lack of evidence, Gregory and his son Travis then grabbed their guns, hopped into a pickup truck, and formed a roadblock to enact a “citizens arrest” until the police arrived.
Citizens arrests in Georgia require arresting individuals to have directly witnessed a crime being committed or knowledge of a crime in progress.
In the video that shocked the world, Arbery is seen running up the road until he encounters Travis McMichael. Arbery was shot and killed, the McMichaels claims, while wrestling with Travis for his shotgun. Arbery’s family says he was out jogging and was unarmed.
Attorneys for Gregory and Travis McMichael said that they have been vilified by an “incomplete set of facts.”
“So often the public accepts a narrative driven by an incomplete set of facts, one that vilifies a good person, based on a rush to judgement, which has happened in this case,” said Laura Hogue, an attorney for Gregory McMichael.
“While the death of Ahmaud Arbery is a tragedy, causing deep grief to his family — a tragedy that at first appears to many to fit into a terrible pattern in American life — this case does not fit that pattern,” said Frank Hogue, another attorney for Gregory McMichael.
The Department of Justice has ordered an investigation to determine whether or not Ahmaud Arbery was the victim of a hate crime.
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