Leaked Video Of A Deadly Shooting In Coastal Georgia Sparks National Outrage
A leaked viral video showing the final moments of a Brunswick man’s life has many people in Georgia and the rest of the country outraged and in sorrow.
The footage remains a key piece of evidence in the deadly shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. Two men shot and killed Arbery while he was jogging through a predominantly white neighborhood in Glynn County on Feb. 23, which Arbery's family said he did daily for exercise.
Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael have not been arrested nor charged. In a Glynn County police report obtained by GPB, Gregory said he and his 34-year-old son told police that Arbery matched someone caught on a security camera committing a recent break-in the neighborhood.
"Travis, the guy is running down the street let's go," Gregory said in the police report.
That’s when he and Travis grabbed a .357 magnum revolver and a shotgun, jumped into a truck and began pursuing Arbery.
Gregory McMichael saw Arbery and shouted, "Stop, stop, we want to talk to you," according to the report.
Gregory McMichael said they then shouted "Stop" again, and Travis got out of the truck with a shotgun.
Arbery "began to violently attack" him and "the two men then started fighting over the shotgun," the report said.
Travis McMichael fired two shots, his father told police.
They said they were acting in self-defense.
The graphic video tells a different story. The video below leaves out the fatal shots.
A witness filmed Arbery being chased by both men in a white, Ford pickup truck as he ran through Satilla Shores — a subdivision outside of Brunswick.
As the witness gets closer, Arbery briefly disappeared off camera and a gunshot rang out. The 64-year-old stood in the pickup truck bed, holding a shotgun.
Two more shots rang out as Arbery appeared back in the frame. He then fell to the ground. Arbery was unarmed and dead when police made it to the scene.
Gregory McMichael is a retired investigator with the Brunswick Judicial Circuit DA's office. On April 29, the Glynn County Police Department requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate allegations of threats against GCPD and individuals involved in the active investigation.
The video spurred the GBI to conduct an independent probe, which is backed by Gov. Brian Kemp.
.@GBI_GA Director Reynolds has offered resources & manpower to D.A. Durden to ensure a thorough, independent investigation into the death of #AhmaudArbery. Georgians deserve answers. State law enforcement stands ready to ensure justice is served. https://t.co/ktLiPf7LoY— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 6, 2020
The deadly shooting reignited protests calling for social justice, including groups like "Black Lives Matter."
"We should not sit in a state where people can literally, you know, hold unarmed black boys by gunpoint and, you know, kill them at will," NAACP President James Woodall said.
Arbery's family is also calling for action.
His mother, Wanda Cooper, said she doesn't want to see the video of her son being killed.
“I haven’t viewed the video. I don’t think that I’ll ever reach the mental capacity to ever watch the video," she said. "You know, I saw my son come in the world. And seeing him leave the world is not something that I will want to see ever.”
Atlantic Judicial Circuit DA Tom Durden is handling the case. Two other DAs removed themselves because Gregory McMichael used to work in the Brunswick DA's office.
Durden plans to present the case to a grand jury, who will consider criminal charges.
A grand jury cannot meet until after at least June 12, when Georgia's current state of emergency due to coronavirus is set to expire.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the district attorney handling the case. The Brunswick DA removed herself citing a conflict of interest.