Shocking video that showed two white men shooting an unarmed black jogger in Georgia was leaked to the press by assailants’ close friend who believed it would clear them of any crime.
Attorney Alan Tucker told Inside Edition Friday that he was responsible for releasing the vision, which showed his pals Gregory and Travis McMichael engaged in a fatal altercation with Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick on February 23.
‘I really thought releasing the video would put the truth out to the public,’ Tucker stated.
‘If he [Arbery] had just froze and hadn’t done anything, then he wouldn’t have been shot.’
However, most viewers have interpreted the footage far differently. After the video was uploaded to the internet Tuesday it quickly went viral and sparked nationwide outrage. Presumptive Democratic nominee for President said it showed the McMichaels killing Aubrey ‘in cold blood’. The father and son were subsequently arrested Thursday, and have now been charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Attorney Alan Tucker (pictured left) told Inside Edition Friday that he was responsible for releasing footage which showed his friends Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael engaged in a fatal altercation with Ahmaud Arbery on February 23
Gregory (left) and Travis McMichael (right) have both been charged with murder and aggravated assault over the February 23 shooting of Ahmaud Arbery
The McWilliams claim Arbery was a burglary suspect, and they trailed him in their pick-up truck before trying to make a citizen’s arrest.
But on Friday, a local police official told CNN that there had been no burglaries in the neighborhood for nearly two months before the fatal shooting.
Abery was shot dead on February 23. The last theft in Brunswick was reported on January 1, when a 9-mm pistol was stolen from an unlocked vehicle outside the McMichaels’ home.
Meanwhile, CNN also reported Friday that the owner of a home near the scene of Arbery’s shooting said his surveillance system captured a man who appeared to be Arbery ‘coming onto his property’.
Arbery’s family lawyer, Lee Merritt, told CNN that that incident would be classified as ‘trespassing at most’.
Merrit was also forced to fend off reports that revealed Arbery was indicted for allegedly bringing a gun to a high school basketball game in 2013, and that he was arrested on shoplifting charges in 2018.
‘Arbery’s alleged conduct from high school or shoplifting is absurd and has nothing to do with his murder,’ Merritt said.
Arbery’s death has sparked nationwide outrage. A rally for the slain jogger was held Friday – the day he would have celebrated his 26th birthday
Ex-cop Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested in Brunswick, Georgia, Thursday and charged with murder and aggravated assault of Ahmaud Arbery after this shocking video was released earlier this week
While Gregory and Travis McMichael were charged Thursday, many Americans were left outraged as to why it took more than two months for them to be arrested.
However, according to a report in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson blocked police from arresting them because she was friends with Gregory McMichael.
Brunswick DA Jackie Johnson blocked police from arresting a father and son accused of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery because one of them used to work in her office, it is claimed
McMichael, who is an ex-cop, had worked as an investigator in Johnson’s office until his retirement in 2019 causing Johnson to recused herself from the case a few days after the shooting.
‘She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael,’ Glynn County Commissioner Allen Booker told The Atlanta Journal Constition.
‘They were told not to make the arrest,’ added Commissioner Peter Murphy, who said he also spoke directly to Glynn County police about the incident and that officers had said there was probable cause for arrest before this.
DailyMail.com reached out to the DA’s office for comment but a representative was not available.
The Arbery family were told in February that Ahmaud was shot by a homeowner during an attempted burglary, their lawyer Lee Merritt told Yahoo.
It was only after the video recorded by Bryan was leaked and caused outrage that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations got involved and arrests were made.
‘He was my baby boy that I had on Mother’s Day of 1994. He was his sister and brother’s keeper… his spirit was good. He was a yes ma’am and no ma’am type of fellow’: Arbery is pictured at right with his mom Wanda Jones
Speaking on Fox Friday, President Trump said the footage was ‘very disturbing’.
He also claimed that there may have been more that was not seen on camera.
‘I looked at a picture of that young man. He was in a tuxedo … I will say that that looks like a really good young guy,’ Trump said.
‘There could have been things that we didn’t see on tape – off tape and then back on tape – but it was troubling certainly to anyone who watched it. It was a troubling video.
‘My heart goes out to the parents and the families and friends,’ he added while stating that he believed Georgia governor Brian Kemp would investigate the matter ‘strongly’.
‘[Brian Kemp] is going to do what’s right. It’s a heartbreaking thing. That was very rough, rough stuff.
‘Justice getting done is the thing that solves the [racial problem]. Again, it is in the hands of the governor and I’m sure he’ll do the right thing. It could be something that we didn’t see on tape. If you saw, things went off tape and then back on tape.’
TIMELINE OF BOTCHED HANDLING OF THE CASE
February 23: Ahmaud Arbery is shot dead in the street in Brunswick, Georgia.
Gregory and Travis McMichael had gone out in their car with guns to chase him because they mistook him for a burglar.
When they caught up to him, Travis got out of the car.
Jackie Johnson recused herself because McMichael used to work in her office
Greg says they told Arbery that they wanted to talk to him and that he attacked Travis. A struggle ensued and Travis fired his gun twice, killing Ahmaud, 25.
Late February – First prosecutor recuses herself
Jackie Johnson, the Brunswick District Attorney, stepped down from the case because Gregory used to work in her office as an investigator.
Mid-April – Second prosecutor says he won’t press charges, then recuses himself
George Barnhill said Ahmaud initiated the fight
George Barnhill was given the case.
He at first said he did not think it merited charges because the McMichaels were acting lawfully by trying to carry out a citizen’s arrest, which is legal in Georgia.
He also said that the video ‘shows’ Arbery reaching for Travis’ gun.
Barnhill recused himself because his son, also called George Barnhill, works in the office where McMichael used to
The first shot is fired however when the pair are out of frame.
When the camera panned back to them, they were struggling again to the side of the vehicle.
Barnhill said Travis was standing his ground by firing three shots which hit Arbery.
He later had to recuse himself after it emerged that his son works in the Brunswick District Attorney’s Office, where Gregory served.
May 5 – Third prosecutor passes it on to grand jury
Tom Durden is the third prosecutor to have the case come across his desk.
He said that his office would approach it without prior prejudice.
This week, he announced that he would not make a decision on whether or not to charge, and that he wants to convene a grand jury to take it on.
May 7 – Georgia Bureau of Investigation files charges
The GBI announced that it was bringing charges of murder and aggravated assault against the Gregory and Travis on May 7.
People react during a rally Friday morning outside the courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia, to protest the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man what would have been his 26th birthday
Arbery’s family held a dedicated distance run Friday on what would have been his 26th birthday as protesters also gathered in Brunswick.
A crowd of several hundred people, most wearing masks, sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in his honor outside the Glynn County Courthouse. Many expressed frustrations at the long wait before any arrests were made, and fears that the justice system will fail them.
‘The work is just beginning,’ John Perry, president of the Brunswick NAACP chapter, told the crowd. ‘We can’t stop now. We can’t lose focus and we’ve got to make sure the prosecution gets done.’
It came as Arbery’s older sister Jasmine told CNN of her relief over the long-awaited arrest of the men allegedly responsible for her brother’s death.
‘We feel a sense of relief,’ Jasmine told Cuomo Prime Time on Thursday night. ‘It’s been a long time, feels like it’s been a long time. So this day was a turning point in recovering my brother’s case and getting justice for him. So we’re relieved and happy.’
‘I believe it was a hate crime,’ his sister Jasmine had said to CNN. ‘There was one black guy and three white guys.
‘This whole situation was senseless. It could have been avoided.’
A four-vehicle convoy from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) pulled up outside the home of Gregory and Travis McMichael at 7.50pm Thursday to take the men into custody on charges of murder and aggravated assault.
Around a dozen GBI officers equipped with bulletproof vests and assault rifles descended on the McMichaels’ two-bedroom $280,000 property in suburban Brunswick to execute arrest warrants Thursday.
Attorney S. Lee Merritt, who is representing Arbery’s parents, told DailyMail.com: ‘It’s a huge, huge step but it’s only a first step on a very long road to justice.’
Officers entered the house just before 8pm and emerged minutes later with Gregory McMichael in handcuffs.
Wearing a scruffy black shirt, cap and jeans the retired cop stared straight ahead and ignored questions from DailyMail.com as he was placed in a police car.
Travis emerged moments later without a struggle, wearing a checked shirt, cap and jeans.
He said nothing as he was led to a vehicle in handcuffs.
Attorney Merritt told DailyMail.com they had no advance warning about the dramatic arrests Thursday night.
Officers entered the house just before 8pm and emerged minutes later with Gregory, 64, in handcuffs
Wearing a scruffy black shirt, cap and jeans, Gregory stared straight ahead and ignored questions from DailyMail.com as he was placed in a police car
Travis said nothing as he was led to a waiting law enforcement vehicle in handcuffs
Around a dozen GBI officers equipped with bulletproof vests and assault rifles descended on the McMichaels’ two-bedroom property in suburban Brunswick to execute arrest warrants on Thursday evening
A pile of flowers and other mementos is seen at the site where Arbery was killed on Thursday night
Joe Biden and celebrities including LeBron James, Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner call for justice for Ahmaud Arbery
Ahmaud Arbery’s death has captured the attention of the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, Joe Biden, who sent out a tweet describing Arbery’s death as ‘murder’.
‘The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood,’ Biden tweeted late Tuesday along with a link to a Georgia district attorney recommendation that a grand jury hear the case.
‘My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now,’ the presumed Democratic nominee continued in his Twitter post. ‘It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder.’
Former Democratic Presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke also tweeted for justice – stating that the attack was racially motivated.
Celebrities including LeBron James, Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner also posted about the case.
LA Laker star James tweeted out an impassioned message to his 45 million Twitter followers claiming black people are profiled on the color of their skin.
‘We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!’ he wrote.
‘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 heavens above to your family’.
Rosanna Arquette suggested the McMichaels be charged with murder for their ‘despicable racist heinous crime.’
Serena Williams also shared a series of post on her Instagram Stories, making it clear she believed the death was racially motivated.
‘My crime? BEING BLACK,’ she wrote, assuming the voice of Arbery.