Shooting Death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia: What We Know About the Video, Grand jury and Arrests

Mary R

Ahmaud Arbery was 25 years old when he was shot and killed while jogging in a residential neighborhood in Georgia. According to his friends and family, this was Arbery’s regular route on his daily run.

The two men who allegedly tracked, stopped, and killed Arbery were identified by the Police as being Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34. The two claim there were several break-ins in the area and pursued Arbery to investigate if he was the perpetrator.

Listen to me when I say this: You will see that this was murder. After watching the video multiple times, in my mind, the only conclusion is that these men saw a black man running through their neighborhood and immediately thought he was up to no good and murdered him. Whether this murder was premeditated or not, the two men in that video appeared to murder this man. I do not think that black men are being systematically hunted and killed just for the color of their skin, but I think Ahmaud Arbery was.

I have to say that these men ALLEGEDLY murdered this man and got away with it. Because the two men that made it out of this situation alive, unlike the man they gunned downed, have not been arrested, charged, or reprimanded in any way regarding this incident.

ABC reported that the district attorney’s office where the incident happened has now had two recusals from the case, citing a conflict of interest. The father in this duo worked as an investigator for the district attorney’s office.

ABC report:

“The district attorneys in Brunswick and Waycross Counties have recused themselves from the case, citing conflicts of interest because of professional ties to Gregory McMichael, who had a lengthy career as an investigator in the Brunswick district attorney’s office before recently retiring. He also worked for several years as an officer in the Glynn County Police Department.

Before the Waycross district attorney, George Barnhill removed himself from the investigation, he wrote a three-page report that said there was insufficient probable cause to issue arrest warrants for the McMichaels and Williams, according to the documents obtained by The New York Times.”

The “Williams” this quote is referring to is William “Roddie” Bryan. It has not yet been confirmed what his role, if any, was in this event.

The report obtained by The New York Times said that the original district attorney felt there was no probable cause to arrest any of the men in question. This is the same district attorney that has worked closely with Gregory McMichael for years.

George Barnhill says in part:

“As to the case at hand: It is my professional belief the autopsy confirms what we had already viewed as shown in the videotape, with the photographs & from the witness statements taken immediately at the scene. The autopsy supports the initial opinion we gave you on February 24th, 2020 at the briefing room in the Glynn County Police Department after reviewing the evidence you had at that time. We do not see grounds for an arrest of any of the three parties.”

Y’all really need to read the entire statement, but the vital thing to note is that as citizens, we need to have a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to our government.  Here you have two men chase down an unarmed man and force him to comply with their self-given authority. When the man rightly refuses, they fatally shoot him. The father of the two men had personal and professional relationships with the people in charge of determining whether or not they would be arrested.

According to Arbery’s mother, the police department’s explanation of what happened differs from the video. When the police showed up at her door to inform her that her youngest son had died they told her that he died during a citizen’s arrest on suspicions of a home burglary. It wasn’t until the video was forced to be released that she learned that her son had been gunned down in the street.

ABC states:

“The video contradicts everything the family have been told about what happened,” said Merritt. “They were told the McMichaels were attempting to make a citizens arrest. That’s absurd. They were vigilantes. They were a posse and performing a modern-day lynching.”

Ahmaud Arbery was pronounced dead on the scene by the Glynn County coroner. No weapons were found on Ahmaud Arbery, according to the police report.”


The man was found in athletic wear jogging in a neighborhood. He had no gun. He had no one else’s belongings on him. The men who tracked him down were looking for a fight and, until now, have had the protection of their law enforcement friends.

I don’t want to jump in on the hype and accuse people of racism without facts. But, in this case, it is hard to see any other motive.

Facts we know:

  • There were break-ins in this neighborhood.
  • Ahmaud Arbery was an athlete who liked to take care of his body.
  • Arbery was wearing athletic clothes.
  • Arbery was unarmed.
  • Arbery was not inside anyone’s home, nor seen inside anyone’s home.
  • Arbery was not in possession of anyone else’s belongings.
  • These men saw Arbery jogging in their neighborhood.
  • These men tracked him down.
  • These men fought with him.
  • These men fatally shot him.
  • These men have friends in the district attorney’s office.
  • These men have friends in the police department.
  • These men have not been arrested.


USA Today adds:

A grand jury will decide if criminal charges are warranted in the death of a black man who was shot after he was chased by two armed white men who later told police they thought he was a burglar.

There have been no arrests or charges in the case, prosecutor Tom Durden said in a statement Tuesday. He said he plans to have a grand jury hear the evidence in the shooting. But a grand jury hearing won’t happen at least until mid-June when Georgia courts reopen from coronavirus restrictions.

“I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr. Arbery,” Durden said in a statement Tuesday.