Police appear to have been relying on one of Ahmaud Arbery’s alleged killers as a neighborhood point person for months before Arbery’s murder, a newly-surfaced text message reveals.
The text message was sent between what appears to be an officer at the Glynn County Police Department and Larry English, owner of the construction site that Arbery was said to have been trespassing at before his death, according to TMZ.
In the text message, the officer, who is listed as ‘Officer Rash,’ told English to call one of Arbery’s alleged killers, Gregory McMichael, 64, if the motion-activated camera at the construction site showed any ‘action.’
The text message Larry English received from a police officer in December 2019 telling him to contact neighbor Gregory McMichael if he needed help
Gregory McMichael (left) and his son, Travis McMichael (right) are accused of killing unarmed jogger Ahmaud Arbery in February
The McMichael men were caught on video chasing Arbery in a truck and then confronting him in the middle of the street before fatally shooting Arbery
The text sent on December 20, 2019 – two months before Arbery, 25, was murdered on video in broad daylight – stated: ‘Greg is retired Law Enforcement and also a Retired Investigator from the DA’s office. He said please call him day or night when you get action on your camera.’
English’s attorney, Elizabeth Graddy, confirmed the text message was real and that she’d gotten hold of it a few days prior, along with some emails.
The text message sent to English comes on the heels of the revelation of a 2019 report that described an ‘ongoing culture of cover-up’ at the Glynn County Police Department.
The force has come under scrutiny over its handling of Arbery’s killing.
The father and son duo were charged with murder last week – more than two months after the slaying – when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation stepped in to take over the case following a series of blunders by local law enforcement.
On February 23, the day of Arbery’s killing, a witness called a non-emergency number stating that a man had gone into English’s home, which is under construction. Less than 10 minutes later, Gregory McMichael called 911 to report a ‘black male running down the street.’
During the call, Gregory was heard saying ‘Goddamnit, c’mon Travis,’ referring to his son, Arbery’s other accused killer, Travis McMichael, 32.
A surveillance video showed Arbery as he entered Larry English’s construction site the day he was killed. The McMichaels men said they chased him because they though he was a burgler
Leaked video of the incident went viral and led to the arrests of Gregory and Travis McMichael
It’s now been revealed the video was leaked to a radio station by Gregory McMichael himself
They then grabbed guns and got into their pickup truck to chase down the unarmed Arbery, who had been jogging on the road through their neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia.
Leaked video of the fatal incident – filmed from another car, by a friend of the McMichael men – showed them chasing down Arbery in their truck.
Upon catching up to him, Travis exited the car. Gregory, meanwhile, said that they told Arbery that they wanted to talk to him, but that the jogger attacked Travis.
During the struggle, Travis fired his gun multiple times, killing Arbery. The autopsy later showed Arbery was hit by three shotgun blasts.
The video quickly went viral after it was made public – just days before the McMichael men were arrested on May 7 and charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Attorney Alan Tucker initially came forward and claimed to have leaked the video, supposedly because he though it would help clear his friends of the charges, because if he ‘had just froze… he wouldn’t have been shot.’
But, on Friday, Tucker – who is not representing the McMichael men -told WSBTV that it was Gregory McMichael himself who leaked the video to a radio station.
Tucker said that McMichael had come to him as a friend, not as a client, with the video and that he wanted help downloading it to send to a talk show host on a local radio station.
‘That young man did not deserve to be shot,’ Tucker told the news station, referring to Arbery.
‘There was no reason in the world for Travis to pull a shotgun out of a damn truck. None,’ Tucker added.
The McMichael men’s defense has been that they were making a citizen’s arrest after suspecting Arbery of breaking into and robbing homes in their neighborhood.
They said Travis then exercised his stand your ground right by shooting the unarmed jogger, claiming Arbery reached for his gun.
The incident has been described as a ‘modern day lynching.’
Lindsay McMichael, 30 – Gregory’s daughter and Travis’ sister – has now come forward to say that she believes ‘mistakes were made,’ but that the Arbery being chased and killed ‘wasn’t a lynching.’
She told The Sun that she was at home, in her pajamas watching a movie with her mother, when the incident occurred and that she went outside immediately after to see her relatives.
She said she looked Travis in the eye shortly after Arbery was killed and decided: ‘I will until the day that I die believe that he had no intention of malice like that.’
“I’ve seen my brother in his happiest moments – I was there when his child was born and I’ve seen him in distress and I know that look… it wasn’t like some glory thing, like “I stalked and then got the kill that I was hoping for,”‘ she added.
‘It was absolute f***king panic…I really do believe that things just escalated so fast.’
Lindsay also denied that her brother and father were racists, claiming that she hasn’t dated someone white since she was 19 and that both men ‘loved every person that I’ve ever dated like they were their own son or brother.’
Lindsay also said that her relatives weren’t vigilantes.
‘They’re not monsters. This wasn’t a lynching. Do I think mistakes were made? Absolutely, but look back on your life how many mistakes have you made?’ she said.
‘Do I think that decisions were rash and people were jumping ahead? Yes. But do I think anybody thought “Today I’m going to kill someone.” Absolutely not,’ she added.