Shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia: What we know about the video, grand jury and arrests
A grand jury will decide whether criminal charges are warranted in the death of a black man who was shot after he was chased by two armed white men who told police they thought he was a burglar.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was killed in February in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia. A father and son told police they saw him running and believed he was a burglary suspect; they told police Arbery attacked them after one of the men got out of the truck with a shotgun.
Arbery's family and their attorneys said he was jogging when he was killed.
"All I want to do is get justice for my son," Marcus Arbery, the slain man's father, told The Associated Press. "This is terrible. It could happen to anybody's kid."
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'Killed in cold blood':Biden, Abrams call for action in death of Ahmaud Arbery
Here's what we know about the killing of Ahmaud Arbery:
Who is Ahmaud Arbery?
Arbery, 25, was killed Feb. 23 in the Satilla Shores neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia. He didn't live far from where he was shot, his father said.
His family said he was jogging when the shooting happened. Arbery's friend Akeem Baker, 26, told The Atlanta Constitution-Journal that Arbery was a frequent runner.
Baker started a Facebook page and GoFundMe called "I Run With Maud" to raise awareness about Arbery's killing. As of Wednesday, the GoFundMe had raised more than $14,000, and the page had more than 21,000 followers. A dedication run is planned for Friday.
Have there been any arrests?
There have been no arrests or charges in the case, prosecutor Tom Durden said in a statement Tuesday. He said he plans to have a grand jury hear the evidence in the shooting, but a hearing won't happen until mid-June at the earliest when Georgia courts reopen from coronavirus restrictions.
"I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr. Arbery," Durden said in a statement Tuesday.
Tuesday evening, Durden asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the case, according to the agency. Director Vic Reynolds issued a video statement on the case Wednesday, saying his team would operate the investigation out of its headquarters and "bring to bear every resource and experience this agency has in resolving this matter."
What does the police report say?
Arbery was shot after two men saw him running in their neighborhood and armed themselves with guns before getting in a truck to pursue him, according to an incident report filed by Glynn County police.
Gregory McMichael told police he was in his front yard when he saw "the suspect from the break-ins 'hauling ass' down the street." McMichael told police he and his adult son thought the man matched someone caught on a security camera committing a break-in in the neighborhood.
McMichael and his son, Travis, grabbed guns because they "didn't know if the male was armed or not," according to the police report. McMichael told officers they shouted at Arbery, "Stop, stop, we want to talk to you!"
McMichael said Travis got out of the truck with a shotgun and Arbery "began to violently attack" him, and "the two men then started fighting over the shotgun," the police report says. McMichael said his son fired two shots, according to the report.
The police report says McMichael turned Arbery onto his back to see if he was armed – but the report doesn’t say whether Arbery had a weapon or not.
What does the video show?
Video of the event has been posted by several sites online, including CNN, which said it had not independently verified the authenticity of the footage.
The video, which appears to be shot from a moving vehicle behind the runner, shows a black man jogging on the left side of a two-lane road in daylight. A white truck is parked in the road ahead of him; a man stands in the pickup bed, and another is beside the open driver's-side door.
The runner passes the pickup on the passenger side. There is shouting, then a gunshot, and the video shows the runner grappling with a man in the street over what appears to be a shotgun or rifle. A second shot goes off, and the runner punches the man. A third shot is fired at point-blank range. The runner staggers a few feet and falls face down.
A statement released by S. Lee Merritt, an attorney representing Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper, said a "false narrative" had been created that the video disproved.
"Mr. Arbery had not committed any crime, and there was no reason for these men to believe they had the right to stop him with weapons or to use deadly force in furtherance of their unlawful attempted stop. This is murder," Merritt said.
What are officials doing and saying?
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who had not addressed the shooting until this week, tweeted Tuesday that "Georgians deserve answers" and that the state Bureau of Investigation supports Durden "to ensure a thorough, independent investigation" into his death.
Durden is an outside prosecutor; Jackie Johnson, the district attorney for Glynn County, recused herself from the case because McMichael worked as an investigator in her office and retired a year ago.
"Based on the video footage and news reports that I have seen, I am deeply concerned with the events surrounding the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery. I expect justice to be carried out as swiftly as possible, and I stand ready to support GBI Director Reynolds, DA Durden and the local community," Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement on Twitter late Tuesday.
How are people reacting?
Dozens of demonstrators – some wearing face masks amid the coronavirus outbreak – walked through Brunswick Tuesday, holding signs that said, "Justice for Ahmaud Arbery" and "I run with Maud."
More demonstrators walked around the state Capitol in Atlanta on Wednesday, demanding justice.
The Georgia NAACP was to hold a protest with Arbery's family at the Glynn County Courthouse on Friday.
Several lawmakers have spoken out. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted late Tuesday that Arbery was "killed in cold blood."
Former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said, "Our systems of law enforcement and justice must be held to the highest standards." She called for a "full investigation, appropriate charges and an unbiased prosecution."
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a former Democratic presidential candidate, said on Twitter the video "sickens me to my core."
"Exercising while Black shouldn't be a death sentence," she said.
Contributing: The Associated Press