Seventy-four days after he was pursued, shot and killed, two men were arrested in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man jogging near Brunswick, Georgia, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Former police officer Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, were taken into custody and charged with murder and aggravated assault two days after a graphic video showing Arbery’s last moments on earth surfaced—more than two months after the shooting occurred.
The mugshots of Gregory and Travis McMichael, who have been charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. pic.twitter.com/O0M6vPMs1Q— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 8, 2020
As reported by Colorlines, a Georgia District Attorney presented Arbery’s case to a grand jury this week, after other two district attorneys recused themselves from the case, with one saying he thought the McMichaels had used their citizen’s arrest rights, according to CNN.
On February 23, CNN reports Arbery was jogging in the Satilla Shores neighborhood when McMichael and son “chased him down” in a pickup. It notes:
According to a Glynn County Police report, Gregory McMichael, 64, later told officers that he thought Arbery looked like a person whom they suspected in a series of recent break-ins in the area.
After they chased down Arbery, McMichael told police, Arbery and Travis McMichael, 34, struggled over his son’s shotgun. The elder McMichael told police that his son shot Arbery after the latter attacked him, according to the police report.
In the video, three shots can be heard before Arbery is seen stumbling and falling to the ground.
The police report says a third man, William Bryan, was involved in the chase, and Arbery family attorney Lee Merritt said he hopes that person will be arrested as well. CNN also reveals that in nearly two months before the shooting, there was only one burglary report for the Satilla Shores neighborhood.
Arbery’s story is reminiscent of another young black man gunned down by anti-Black vigilantism—Trayvon Martin, who was also killed in late February 2012 after being pursued for looking “suspicious.” The perpetrator in that case was initially released from police custody as well; he was later arrested after sustained public agitation, and eventually found not guilty in the 17-year-old’s murder.
Jason Vaughn, Arbery’s high school football coach has called for those who support Arbery and his family’s quest for justice to go for a run of 2.23 miles on Friday, Arbery’s birthday (2.23 represents the date of Arbery’s death). Vaughn asks that those who participate use the hashtag #IRunWithMaud, which many have already started to do.
This morning, I made it a priority to get up extra early to begin running at exactly 2:23am. Ahmaud Arbery, may your soul rest peacefully and justice be served. #IRunWithMaud pic.twitter.com/HwHIjLGOye— Tia (@1tiabia) May 8, 2020
VAeducatorRJW) May 8, 2020
Ahmaud Arbery would have turned 26 today, but he was murdered while jogging in February. In honor of his life, many are protesting by running 2.23 miles, marking the date of his death. Happy birthday Ahmaud, and may justice be served. #IRunWithMaud pic.twitter.com/WNZR3JWXIB— 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐧 𝐠𝐢𝐫𝐥𝐬 (@blkgirlsrelate) May 8, 2020
Today, May 8, would have been Ahmaud Arbery’s 26th birthday. He was born on Mother’s Day, 1994.