New surveillance video has emerged of Ahmaud Arbery inside an abandoned constructions site on the day of his death then leaving empty handed the day he was gunned down by a father-son vigilante duo who said they thought he was trying to burgle homes.
Arbery, 25, was out jogging in Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23 when he was chased by Gregory and Travis McMichael in their pick-up truck and then shot dead by Travis after a brief struggle.
It took nearly three months and three different prosecutors for the father and son to be arrested and charged with his killing. Georgia’s Attorney General is now investigating the handling of the case amid claims that prosecutors passed it off to protect McMichael, a former police detective who recently worked in the local district attorney’s office.
The case has sparked outrage around the world and some say it is proof of persistent racism in the South. Over the weekend, people ran to honor what would have been Ahmaud’s 26th birthday and armed protesters took to the street.
Ahmaud Arbery inside the under-construction home on February 23, the day he was killed. He walked into the house then left empty handed and was later shot dead by Travis McMichael who had chased him with his father, Gregory, a former cop
Ahmaud had been out jogging when he came across the home. His family says the footage shows he was not a burglar and that he would have been guilty of trespassing at most
Another video shows Ahmaud entering the property. It was taken on a surveillance camera on a different home
Gregory (left) and Travis McMichael (right) have both been charged with murder and aggravated assault over the February 23 shooting of Ahmaud Arbery
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
The McMichaels’ defense has been that they were making a citizen’s arrest after suspecting Ahmaud of breaking into and robbing homes in their neighborhood.
They said Travis, 34, then exercised his stand your ground right by shooting Ahmaud, claiming the unarmed 25-year-old reached for his gun.
But new video obtained by News4Jax appears to undermine their shaky burglary suspect claim.
It shows Ahmaud walking into an under-construction house in Brunswick, looking around and then leaving without taking anything.
The video was shared by the property owner who said they had never had any contact with the McMichaels let alone did they call for them to investigate any break-ins.
The attorney representing Ahmaud’s family says the video shows that at most, Ahmaud would have been guilty of trespassing.
It’s unclear what time the video on the construction site was taken.
According to the police report into his death, Ahmaud was shot dead at 1.46pm.
A time stamp on a different surveillance camera video says he entered the construction site at 2.13pm. It’s possible that camera was inaccurately running an hour fast.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it is now investigating the video along with the cellphone footage of Ahmaud’s killing that went viral.
The property is owned by Larry English.
Over the weekend, he released a statement through an attorney to say he neither called for the McMichaels to go after Ahmaud, nor did he condone in any way how they killed him.
‘First, and most important, the English family — the homeowners — want Ahmaud Arbery’s parents to know that they are very sorry for the loss of their son and they are praying for them.
‘Second, it is crucial to understand that the English family — the homeowners — were not part of what the McMichaels did. The first accounts suggested a link between the McMichaels and the homeowners, but there is none.
‘The English family had no relationship with the McMichaels and did not even know what had occurred until after Mr. Arbery’s death was reported to them.
‘After seeing Mr. Arbery’s photo in news reports, Larry English did not even think Mr. Arbery was the person that appears in this video.
‘Even if it had been, however, Mr. English would never have sought a vigilante response, much less one resulting in a tragic death,’ his attorney, Elizabeth Graddy, told First Coast News.
Ahmaud’s parents’ lawyer confirmed that it is him in the video.
‘This video is consistent with the evidence already known to us.
‘Ahmaud Arbery was out for a jog. He stopped by a property under construction where he engaged in no illegal activity and remained for only a brief period.
‘Ahmaud did not take anything from the construction site. He did not cause any damage to the property,’ Lee Merritt said.
Last week, after growing global outrage, the case was taken out of local prosecutors’ hands to be investigated by the state.
Gregory and Travis were both charged with murder and aggravated assault.