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DA said killing of jogger Ahmaud Arbery, 25, by two armed white men was ‘justifiable homicide’

The Georgia district attorney who recused himself from the Ahmaud Arbery case told investigators that the unarmed black jogger’s fatal shooting in February by two white men was a ‘justifiable homicide’ and that they should not be charged.

George Barnhill, Sr, the top prosecutor for the Waycross Judicial Circuit, told police in Glynn County on February 24 – the day after the shooting – that there was insufficient evidence to charge Travis McMichael, 34, and his 64-year-old father, former officer Greg McMichael.

The Glynn County Police Department released a statement to The Brunswick News on Saturday saying Travis and Greg McMichael were brought in for questioning at around 3:30pm on February 23rd.

Ahmaud Arbery

George Barnhill, Sr (left), the top prosecutor for the Waycross Judicial Circuit, told police in February that the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery (right), 25, by two white men was a ‘justifiable homicide’

Ex-cop Gregory McMichael, 64, (pictured) is pictured during his first court appearance on Friday.

Ex-cop Gregory McMichael, 64, (pictured) is pictured during his first court appearance on Friday. 

Gregory McMichael's son Travis McMichael, 34, is seen wearing an orange prison uniform. The two men were arrested and charged after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case

Gregory McMichael’s son Travis McMichael, 34, is seen wearing an orange prison uniform. The two men were arrested and charged after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case

Just after 1pm on that day, Arbery, a 25-year-old former high school football player and avid runner, went out for a jog in his Satilla Shores neighborhood near Brunswick, Georgia.

As Arbery ran past the McMichaels’ home, the two men grabbed two shotguns, got into their truck and followed him.

Video which surfaced in recent days showed Travis McMichael get out of the truck and accost Arbery while brandishing his weapon.

Arbery is then seen trying to fight off McMichael before collapsing to the ground after he had apparently been shot.

Barnhill had determined that there were no legal grounds to arrest and try the McMichaels since Georgie’s arrest and self-defense laws allow citizens to detain anyone suspected of committing a crime.

The Glynn County Police Department says that Barnhill, Sr recused himself from the case on April 6 – five days after receiving the results of the autopsy.

Barnhill’s recusal was also demanded by Arbery’s family because the district attorney’s son, George Barnhill, Jr, worked as an assistant district attorney in the Brunswick District Attorney’s Office.

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

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

Before his retirement in 2019, Greg McMichaels worked as an investigator in that same office.

The McMichaels were arrested on Thursday after the case was turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. 

GBI took over the case after video circulated on social media showing the killing of Arbery. 

Earlier this week, two Glynn County commissioners said that the current Brunswick District Attorney, Jackie Johnson, blocked police from arresting the McMichaels because she was friends with one of them.

Gregory McMichael and his son were arrested in Brunswick on Thursday and charged with murder and aggravated assault more than two months after the death of Arbery.

Officers investigating the scene of the fatal shooting on February 23 told Johnson’s office that they had cause to arrest the father and son at the time but the DA shut them down. 

Gregory McMichael had worked as an investigator in her office until his retirement in 2019 causing Johnson to recuse 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.

The McMichaels made their first court appearance individually Friday afternoon via a video link from inside the Glynn County jail. 

Magistrate Judge Wallace Harrell ruled that bond on both charges would have to be set by a superior court judge. Both men were read their rights and spoke only to confirm their names. 

Neither had attorneys representing them in court and no further hearing dates were scheduled. 

A picture shared by Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, on his 25th birthday. Protesters gather in Brunswick, Georgia, Friday on what would have been his 26th birthday, a day after two men were arrested for his murder on February 23

A picture shared by Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, on his 25th birthday. Protesters gather in Brunswick, Georgia, Friday on what would have been his 26th birthday, a day after two men were arrested for his murder on February 23

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

 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

During a day of big developments in the case: 

  • It was claimed District Attorney Jackie Johnson blocked police from arresting Gregory and Travis McMichael because she was friends with one of them.
  • The father and son made their first court appearance via a video link from inside the Glynn County jail.
  • President Donald Trump said the footage of Ahmaud Arbery being shot dead was ‘very disturbing’.
  • People gathered to protest the shooting on what would have been the victim’s birthday.

Earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump spoke out about the ‘very disturbing’ footage of the deadly shooting as he said that law enforcement was ‘gonna do what’s right’. 

His daughter Ivanka also commented asking ‘why it seemingly took months, the release of a video and corresponding public outrage to catalyze action’. 

Lee Merritt, the family’s lawyer, called the killing a ‘lynching’ earlier this week.  

Speaking on Wednesday, Merritt stated during a press conference: ‘These men were not performing any police function or any duty as citizens of Georgia… these men were vigilantes, they were performing a lynching in the middle of the day.’  

At a press conference on Friday, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds said ‘there is more than sufficient probable cause in this case for felony murder.’

Reynolds declined to explicitly criticize local police who initially investigated the case in the two months after Arbery was killed, but admitted ‘there were things that needed to be done and have been done yesterday.’

‘Considering the fact that we hit the ground running Wednesday morning and within 36 hours we had secured warrants for two individuals for murder – I think that speaks volumes in itself,’ he said.

He would not rule out charging the driver of a second car, William Bryan, who filmed the shooting.

‘Don’t know yet – we’ll go wherever the evidence takes us. If there is probable cause for arrest, we’ll do it. If there isn’t, we won’t,’ said Director Reynolds, adding that Bryan’s video of the fatal confrontation, which took place on February 23, was a key piece of evidence. 

It emerged Friday that police had found probable cause to arrest the father and son in the days after the shooting but they were allegedly prevented from making arrests by Gregory’s former co-worker Johnson. 

‘The police at the scene went to her, saying they were ready to arrest both of them. These were the police at the scene who had done the investigation,’ Commissioner Allen Booker, who has spoken with Glynn County police, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

‘She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael.’

‘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. 

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. 

Ivanka Trump tweeted about the arrest Friday and asked why it had taken so long to happen

Ivanka Trump tweeted about the arrest Friday and asked why it had taken so long to happen

Shocking cellphone video captured the moment the McMichaels confronted Arbery in the street

In the footage Travis is seen engaging in a physical fight with Arbery before shooting him with a shotgun

Shocking cellphone video captured the moment the McMichaels confronted Arbery in the street. In the footage Travis is seen engaging in a physical fight with Arbery before shooting him with a shotgun 

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

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 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

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. 

‘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.’ 

The McMichaels had claimed to cops they recognized Arbery from surveillance video capturing a recent burglary in their mostly white neighborhood. 

There is no evidence to suggest that Arbery was responsible for any burglaries in the area and the Glynn County Police Department said Thursday that it had no reports involving burglaries or home break-ins in the Satilla Shores neighborhood between January 1 and February 23.

On Thursday, however, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Greg McMichael had investigated Arbery before when he worked as an investigator in the Brunswick DA’s office. 

In a letter to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr recusing himself from the case, Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill said that his own son and Gregory ‘both helped with the previous prosecution of (Ahmaud) Arbery’.

Arbery had previously been sentenced to five years probation as a first offender on charges of carrying a weapon on campus and several counts of obstructing a law enforcement officer.

According to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he was also convicted of probation violation in 2018 after he was charged with shoplifting.

Gregory, who retired from the DA’s office in 2019, had not mentioned his involvement in the case to police.   

Barnhill was the second DA to recuse himself in mid-April following pressure from Arbery’s family. He claims he only learned of his son’s link to the victim ‘three or four weeks’ ago. 

In his letter, Barnhill added that criminal charges against the McMichaels was unwarranted, citing the criminal history of Arbery’s brother and cousin. 

The Arbery family’s lawyer Lee Merritt asked how this was linked to the young man’s death.  

‘This speaks to the wider issue of mass incarceration,’ Merritt said. ‘If black people have any kind of criminal record somehow that justifies their murder.’  

The family held a dedicated distance run Friday on what would have been Arbery’s 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.

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

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

Georgia Bureau of Investigation director Vic Reynolds (pictured center) briefed the news media on the arrests of Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, Friday. He said that further arrested had not yet been ruled out

Georgia Bureau of Investigation director Vic Reynolds (pictured center) briefed the news media on the arrests of Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, Friday. He said that further arrested had not yet been ruled out

A picture shared of Arbery's family. His sister Jasmine spoke on Thursday night about her relief that Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, had been arrested for his murder two and a half months after he was shot dead

A picture shared of Arbery’s family. His sister Jasmine spoke on Thursday night about her relief that Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, had been arrested for his murder two and a half months after he was shot dead

PRESIDENT TRUMP DESCRIBES AHMAUD ARBERY SHOOTING A ‘VERY DISTURBING’

President Donald Trump spoke out about the ‘very disturbing’ footage of the deadly shooting of Ahmaud Arbery Friday as he said that law enforcement was ‘gonna do what’s right’. 

‘I saw the tape and it’s very very disturbing, the tape, it’s disturbing,’ Trump told Fox & Friends. 

‘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.’

He also claimed that there may have been a part of the altercation that was not seen on camera. 

‘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. 

‘But they have very good law enforcement in the state of Georgia and I’m sure they’re going to come up with exactly what happened.’

His daughter Ivanka also spoke about the arrest in a tweet Friday which asked why it had taken two months to happen. 

‘While the arrest of 2 suspects in the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery is a critical step towards justice, the question that needs to be asked is why it seemingly took months, the release of a video and corresponding public outrage to catalyze action,’ she wrote. 

‘Thank you @GovKemp [Governor Brian Kemp] for stepping in and taking action as truth, answers and justice are sought.’ 

‘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.’

Anthony Johnson, 40, said Arbery was his neighbor for about a decade. He said he wants to see the McMichaels get the same treatment in the legal system as black defendants.

‘Just arresting them, that ain’t doing nothing,’ Johnson said. ‘We want them convicted. We want them sent to prison for life.’

Speaking at Friday’s news conference, GBI director Vic Reynolds said of the arrests, ‘We came up fairly quickly with the solid belief that there’s sufficient cause to charge them with felony murder and aggravated assault’. 

He added that ‘every stone will be uncovered’ in the investigation.

But in response to a question about any racial intent, Reynolds said ‘there is no hate crime in Georgia. There isn’t. It is one of four or five states that doesn´t have one’.

Reynolds said that there were still ‘some things that needed to be done’ as part of the investigation. 

‘In a perfect world, we would have preferred to have been asked to become involved in February, of course,’ he added. 

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.  

The dramatic arrests came days after leaked cellphone video of the McMichaels’ fatal confrontation with Arbery made headlines nationwide, sparking fevered outrage and demands for justice in what the victim’s family called a ‘lynching’. 

The shocking footage showed the two men ‘ambushing’ Arbery as he tried to run past their pickup truck, the younger McMichael getting into a physical fight with Arbery before shooting him with a shotgun.  

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.

Locals emerged from their homes to watch the dramatic swoop, with two people verbally abusing a DailyMail.com photojournalist, calling him ‘scum’ and ordering him to leave.

Investigators were at the house for about ten minutes before they left as abruptly as they had arrived.

A middle-aged woman carrying a young child walked out of the family house, looked up and down the street, before going to a neighbor’s home.  

And in a fresh twist, the agency said it was also investigating threats made towards its officers and people involved in the investigation.  

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

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

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

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 four-vehicle convoy from GBI pulled up outside the home of Gregory and Travis McMichael at around 7.50pm Thursday

A four-vehicle convoy from GBI pulled up outside the home of Gregory and Travis McMichael at around 7.50pm Thursday

The sight of so many heavily-armed law enforcement officers drew a crowd of neighbors around the house

The sight of so many heavily-armed law enforcement officers drew a crowd of neighbors around the house

A GBI officer is seen checking his phone after both suspects were placed into vehicles

A GBI officer is seen checking his phone after both suspects were placed into vehicles

GBI officers carried out the arrests quickly, leaving the scene about 10 minutes after they arrived

GBI officers carried out the arrests quickly, leaving the scene about 10 minutes after they arrived 

‘They heard about it on the news like everyone else,’ he said.

‘Wanda was extremely relieved but she remains very stoic as she has been since this all started.’ 

Merritt said he was heartened by the fact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had stepped up after the original team of police and prosecutors assigned to the case ‘failed in their duty’ to make arrests.

‘A case like this breeds mistrust within the community. It hurts the people involved, it hurts the law enforcement community, the prosecutorial community, the black community, everyone,’ he added.

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, has said she believes her son, a former football player, was just jogging in the Satilla Shores neighborhood before he was killed on a Sunday afternoon.

The video shows Arbery at a jogging pace on the left side of a road. A truck is parked in the road ahead of him. Gregory is inside the pickup’s bed, while Travis is standing beside the open driver’s side door.

The dramatic arrests come days after leaked cellphone video of the McMichaels' fatal confrontation with Arbery on February 23 made headlines nationwide

The dramatic arrests come days after leaked cellphone video of the McMichaels’ fatal confrontation with Arbery on February 23 made headlines nationwide

Arbery crosses the road to pass the pickup on the passenger side, then crosses back in front of the truck. 

A gunshot sounds, and the video shows Arbery grappling with Travis in the street over what appears to be a shotgun or rifle. A second shot can be heard, and Arbery can be seen punching Travis. A third shot is fired at point-blank range. Arbery staggers a few feet and falls face down.

Brunswick defense attorney Alan Tucker identified himself Thursday as the person who shared the video with the radio station. 

In a statement, Tucker said he does not currently represent anyone involved in the case. 

He said he released the video ‘because my community was being ripped apart by erroneous accusations and assumptions’. 

A 911 call made just minutes before Arbery was shot was released on Thursday morning.   

‘Hello. Err, I’m out here in Satilla Shores. There’s a black male running down the street,’ says the caller, believed to be Gregory. 

‘I don’t know what street we’re on,’ he adds, distracted and out of breath, when the operator asks him for the exact address within the neighborhood. 

Arbery is pictured

Arbery is pictured with his mom , Wanda Jones

‘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  

Gregory breaks off the call suddenly with an inaudible shout, adding: ‘Goddamn it, c’mon, Travis.’

For the remainder of the 4:46-minute long call, the operator repeatedly asks in vain for information, saying ‘hello, where you at?’ without getting any reply.

That call was one of two placed to 911 relating to Arbery’s supposed suspicious behavior in the moments before the shooting, with a second made to the non-emergency number of the Brunswick Police Department.

‘There’s a guy in the house right now, a house under construction,’ says the caller, whose name has been redacted in the two-minute clip, obtained by DailyMail.com.

He tells the operator the property is at 219 or 220 Satilla Drive, which would be around 500 yards from the home where Travis and Gregory McMichael live.

‘And you said someone’s breaking into it right now?’ the operator asks.

‘No, it’s all open, it’s under construction,’ the caller explains. ‘And he’s running right now, there he goes right now.’

The operator replies: ‘Okay, what is he doing?

‘He’s running down the street,’ the caller says.

‘Okay, that’s fine. I’ll get them out there. I just need to know what he was doing wrong,’ the operator says.

The caller alleges that Arbery had been seen previously in the neighborhood.

‘He’s been caught on the camera a bunch before at night,’ he claims, ‘It’s kind of an ongoing thing out here.’

The operator asks the caller to clarify what the alleged suspect is wearing, saying someone will be sent out to ‘check it out.’

‘Black guy, white t-shirt. And he’s gone running back into the neighborhood,’ the caller adds.

Arbery’s father, Marcus, labeled his son’s death a ‘hate crime’.  

‘My young son wasn’t doing nothing – minding his own business, running and working out. And that’s a crime? To work out and run and he ain’t breaking no law? No. Time out.’ 

The footage sparked widespread outrage from viewers across America, with a crowd of protesters assembling in Brunswick brandishing signs and chanting for justice.  

A pile of flowers and other mementos is seen at the site where Arbery was killed on Thursday night

A pile of flowers and other mementos is seen at the site where Arbery was killed on Thursday night

PROSECUTOR: UNARMED AHMAUD ‘INITIATED’ FIGHT AND REACHED FOR THE GUN

The second prosecutor to be given the case was George Barnhill. 

In an April 2 letter to the Glynn County Police Department – where Greg McMichael worked – he said neither he nor his son deserved to be charged because they were firstly lawful in pursuing Arbery with their guns and then in shooting him. 

He argued that they were trying to make a citizen’s arrest by chasing Arbery -which is legal in Georgia – and that they had ‘solid probable cause for it’, claiming Arbery was a burglary suspect. 

He said the pair intended to subdue Arbery until police arrived but that Arbery ‘initiated’ a fight by grabbing for Travis McMichael’s gun.  

He went on to say that Travis was lawful in shooting him because he thinks it constitutes a stand your ground killing.  

The start of their fight happens out of the camera’s view but Barnhill said Arbery’s wounds – namely the first of three which was in his right palm – showed he had reached for the gun. 

He went on to say that Travis McMichael feared for his life so did not break the law by using deadly force. 

Lastly, Barnhill claimed Arbery had a ‘history of mental health and prior convictions’. 

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.  

READ THE POLICE REPORT ON AHMAUD ARBERY’S DEATH

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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