Demonstrators march on June 4, 2020 in Brunswick, Ga., after a court appearance by Gregory and Travis McMichael, two suspects in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery.
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Demonstrators march on June 4, 2020 in Brunswick, Ga., after a court appearance by Gregory and Travis McMichael, two suspects in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery.

Updated October 18, 2021 at 3:06 PM ET

Jury selection is underway Monday in the trial of the three men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery in southeastern Georgia last year.

Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan — all of whom are white — are accused of killing Arbery, who was Black.

The Feb. 23, 2020 killing was one of several deaths last year that ignited a wave of racial justice protests across the U.S.

Here's what you need to know about the case:

Arbery was killed while jogging

A former high school athlete, Arbery loved to run, according to family members.

He was out for a jog when he encountered the three men charged with his murder, who chased him down in pickup trucks.

A painting of Ahmaud Arbery is displayed during a vigil at New Springfield Baptist Church on Feb. 23 in Waynesboro, Ga.
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A painting of Ahmaud Arbery is displayed during a vigil at New Springfield Baptist Church on Feb. 23 in Waynesboro, Ga.

"Here we are in the South and we witnessed a lynching," Bobby Henderson, co-founder of the grassroots group A Better Glynn, told NPR. "How far are we from 1892? That's what's on the line."

The defendants say they believed Arbery was a thief

Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, said they thought Arbery might have been responsible for a series of burglaries in the residential neighborhood, but police never connected him to any.

In this image made from video, from left, father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, accused in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, listen via closed circuit TV in the Glynn County Detention center in Brunswick, Ga., on Nov. 12.
Caption

In this image made from video, from left, father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, accused in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, listen via closed circuit TV in the Glynn County Detention center in Brunswick, Ga., on Nov. 12.

As the McMichaels were trying to stop Arbery, a fight broke out in the road and Arbery was shot three times with a shotgun.

Bryan, a family friend, was present for the killing and captured it on video.

Robert Rubin, the attorney for Travis McMichael, said the men were simply trying to detain Arbery under Georgia's former citizen's arrest law and only resorted to violence when Arbery fought them and fought over possession of Travis McMichael's gun.

Georgia later repealed its citizen's arrest law, in part because of Arbery's death.

Prosecutors have charged the men with felony murder

All three men are facing a slew of charges in Georgia state court, including felony murder.

The Department of Justice has filed federal charges against the men including hate crimes, accusing them of targeting Arbery because of his race.

That trial is set to begin in February.

The investigation has been marred by conflicts

None of the men were charged immediately after Arbery's shooting and they remained free for about 10 weeks until the video footage captured by Bryan became public.

During the investigation, several prosecutors recused themselves from the case after potential conflicts arose and public pressure forced them to step aside.

Former district attorney Jackie Johnson, who was voted out of office in November, has since been charged with misconduct for interfering with police at the scene of the shooting. She has denied wrongdoing.

The charges came after Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into Johnson and another district attorney's handling of the case.

There were also questions about the Glynn County Police Department, which initially investigated Arbery's death. Gregory McMichael was an officer in the department in the 1980s and later worked as an investigator in the district attorney's office.

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