- The lawyer representing Marcus Arbery, the father of Ahmaud Arbery who was killed while jogging in February in Georgia, told Insider on Wednesday he wanted the perpetrators arrested immediately.
- Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested on Thursday, local outlets reported.
- They were charged with murder and aggravated assault.
- Ben Crump, who also worked on the Trayvon Martin case, said if it was a black father and son who killed a white jogger, they would have been arrested at the scene.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael, the father and son who were involved in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Only a day prior, Ben Crump the lawyer representing Ahmaud’s father Marcus Arbery spoke to Insider and called for their swift arrest, citing a video of the killing that was leaked earlier this week.
“We have every right to expect an arrest immediately based on the ocular proof presented in that video of his execution,” Crump said.
The video shows a truck driving by Arbery jogging. The truck stops, and one man gets out to confront Arbery. There is then an altercation, and shots ring out. Arbery then falls to the ground. According to the Guardian, by the time police arrived, Arbery was already dead.
Arbery, whose family said was just out for a run, was unarmed. The McMichaels had a shotgun and a .357 magnum.
“You look on that video, and it’s like it was a hunting party,” Crump said.
The video sparked outrage, and figures including former Vice President Joe Biden and Lakes star LeBron James expressed concern over the incident.
We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can’t even go for a damn jog man! Like WTF man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! I’m sorry Ahmaud(Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the….. pic.twitter.com/r1PNxs8Vgn
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 6, 2020
Crump, an attorney who also worked on the Trayvon Martin case in 2012, told Insider, that had the roles been reversed, and Ahmaud and Marcus Arbery had followed and killed a jogger, they would have been arrested on the spot.
The arrests happened more than two months after Arbery was shot and killed.
Gregory, the elder McMichael, was the only one mentioned on the police report, and he told police that he thought Arbery was a burglar potentially tied to a string of recent break-ins and followed him. However, The Brunswick News, reported that just one burglary was reported in the area between the start of the year and the day of the killing. It was a gun stolen from Travis McMichael’s unlocked pickup truck on January 1.
Gregory told police that they pulled up alongside Arbery after shouting, “Stop, stop. We want to talk to you,” according to The New York Times. Video shows that Travis was out of the truck with the shotgun for 10 seconds before Arbery jogged by and the scuffle broke out.
Two prosecutors have recused themselves from the case, citing conflicts of interest, as Business Insider’s Anthony Fisher pointed out.
In his letter recusing himself, Waycross judicial circuit District Attorney George Barnhill sent a letter to Glynn County Police Department Captain Tom Jump laying out reasons “that he did not believe there was evidence of a crime, noting that Gregory McMichael and his son had been legally carrying their weapons under Georgia law.” He called the shooting “within the scope of Georgia’s citizen’s arrest statute and that Travis McMichael, who held the shotgun, had acted out of self-defence.”
Crump disagrees, and prior to the arrests, he said he believed the McMichaels ties to the police department may have contributed to the lack of arrests, saying, “It raises a hint of impropriety.”
“When we believe if this was any other citizen, especially a citizen of colour, they would have been arrested because you have an unarmed man in a jogging attack,” Crump said. “He doesn’t have any burglary outfit or burglary tools or anything like that. I mean, he’s jogging and this guy kills them, and they just take his word for it.”
Additionally, Barnhill named the person who shot the video of Arbery’s death in his letter, who Crump believes should be considered an accomplice in the killing of Arbery.
Crump also dismissed the idea that the coronavirus pandemic played a role in the delayed arrest.
“I honestly don’t think there was any reason they could not have been arrested the day that they killed him, and so, this was done before America shut down because of the coronavirus,” Crump said. “Now, the coronavirus, you know is an issue now, but they had ample opportunity to arrest these individuals and give them their due process to the law.”
“And so what we really have to ask ourselves is, ‘is the coronavirus been used as a convenient excuse by law enforcement officials?'” Crump continued.
Crump responded in a tweet after news of the arrest broke: “It took 74 days but Ahmaud Arbery’s killers have finally been arrested! This murderous father and son duo took the law into their own hands.”
It took 74 days but Ahmaud Arbery’s killers have finally been arrested! This murderous father and son duo took the law into their own hands. Thank you to everyone who has supported us through this pursuit of justice! #RunWithMaud #AhmaudArbery #IrunwithMaud
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) May 8, 2020
In addition to the arrests, the George Bureau of Investigations announced on Thursday that they are investigating the leak of the video of the shooting.