In court, prosecutors describe racial slur as Ahmaud Arbery lay dying

05 Juin, 2020, 01:36 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Man who recorded fatal Ahmaud Arbery shooting arrested

Attorneys for both Travis and George McMichael have cautioned against a rush to judgment in the case.

Three white men who were charged with murder months after the fatal shooting of a black man in rural Georgia appeared Thursday by a video link from jail for their probable-cause hearing following a week of angry protests in the us over law enforcement biases against victims of colour.

Lawyers for the defendants and the state acknowledged in court the extraordinary context for the hearing, following a week of angry protests in the US over law enforcement biases against black victims.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled Thursday for Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, according to the Glynn County Magistrate Court in coastal Georgia.

Bryan, the driver of the second pickup truck who recorded that video, said he heard the gunman use a racist epithet as he stood over Arbery's body before police arrived. Footage captured by Bryan reportedly showed his truck making contact with Arbery momentarily.

All three defendants remain jailed in Glynn County. The McMichaels' attorneys have told reporters there are more exculpatory details that will come out in court proceedings.

"It was still very hard to hear in the context of a prolonged chase, that after he murdered Ahmaud Arbery and stood over his body, he used that racial epithet", Merritt said. "Life had placed him in a position where I couldn't protect him, and he wasn't able to protect himself". All three men pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Jesse Evans, appointed as a special prosecutor in the case, said Arbery "was chased, hunted down and ultimately executed" based on the evidence his team would present. "He was on a run on a public road in a public subdivision. He was defenseless and he was unarmed". Even before Floyd's death in police custody, activists in Georgia took to the streets, angered that it took 74 days and the video of Arbery's death to compel authorities to arrest the father and son now accused of killing him.

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That's when Arbery ran around the passenger side of Travis' truck, and the two men met in front of the truck.

The McMichaels ordered Arbery to stop, but the victim kept running, Dial said. Although the GBI probe was initiated on May 9, Dial stated that he did not become aware of the statement until May 13. "Travis McMichael said his adrenaline was pumping and it all happened very quickly".

Sheffield pressed Dial on whether he considered whether Travis fired in self-defense. "I believe it was self-defense by Mr. Arbery". "When he couldn't get away, he chose to fight". Dial also described evidence that questions the idea that the three men were legitimately carrying out a citizens' arrest of a suspected burglar.

Thursday's testimony also could factor into a federal investigation into whether hate crime charges are warranted.

The U.S. Department of Justice is also investigating the case as a possible federal hate crime. Georgia is one of the few states that don't have a hate crime law.

Police say Gregory McMichael saw Arbery running in his neighborhood just outside Brunswick and believed he looked like a burglary suspect.

"We're here essentially on behalf of the citizens of Glenn County to talk about the fatal shooting of the February 23 incident involving victim Ahmaud Arbery, who was chased, hunted down and ultimately executed we believe the evidence will show based on what's about to be presented to the court", said Jesse Evans, an assistant district attorney for the Cobb County District Attorney's Office, who was appointed special prosecutor in the case.



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