Ahmaud Arbery: Text shows police told homeowner he could contact Gregory McMichael about trespassers
Larry English's attorney said the text exchange took place on December 20, 2019, after her client sent a video clip from his surveillance camera to the Glynn County police officer
A Glynn County police officer reportedly told the owner of an under-construction home — where Ahmaud Arbery was seen on surveillance footage shortly before being shot dead — that he could contact Gregory McMichael if he needed help with potential trespassers. McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, would be arrested months later for the February 23 shooting of Arbery, who was jogging through the neighborhood moments after being at the under-construction property that day, CNN reports.
Elizabeth Graddy, attorney for Larry English, the homeowner, told the outlet that the text exchange took place on December 20, 2019, after her client sent a video clip from his surveillance camera to the police officer. In response, the officer tells him that Gregory, one of his neighbors, is a retired police detective in the local district attorney's office. The officer wrote in his text message that McMichael had asked to "please call him day or night when you get action on your camera."
Gregory and his son Travis were arrested on May 7 and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the death of Arbery. In a statement Friday, attorneys for Gregory said their client "did not commit murder" and noted he's been charged as party to the crime. Furthermore, they said they are aware of "several other critically important facts" that would paint "a very different narrative" for Arbery's killing.
Meanwhile, Travis McMichael's attorneys claimed on Thursday that their client had "been vilified before his voice could even be heard." "The truth, in this case, will exonerate Travis," their statement said.
Arbery was reportedly jogging in the Satilla Shores neighborhood on February 23 when he was allegedly followed by the McMichaels and shot to death, according to a report by Glynn County police. Gregory told authorities he and his son pursued Arbery suspecting he was behind a series of recent burglaries in the neighborhood. According to the report, a struggle ensued between Arbery and Travis, who was armed with a shotgun, before the former was shot three times, twice in the chest.
According to police records, no string of break-ins was reported in more than seven weeks before Arbery was shot to death — aside from one burglary report after a gun was stolen from an unlocked vehicle in front of the McMichaels' residence. The father son duo was arrested two days after footage from the killing was leaked to the public, thereby sparking nationwide outrage that the suspects had not been arrested more than two months after the jogger was killed
Arbery was spotted in surveillance video from English's construction site on February 23 just minutes before he was killed. In the clip, the 25-year-old was seen looking around the property but never touching or stealing anything, and eventually walking away.
English noted earlier this week how he had never accused Arbery of any wrongdoing.
"I don't want it to be put out and misused and misinterpreted for people to think that I had accused Mr. Arbery of stealing or robbery, because I never did," English told CNN Tuesday night.