'The Killing of Ahmaud Arbery': Release date, case, accused and all you need to know about the Court TV special
25-year-old Arbery, an unarmed African-American man, was jogging through a south-Georgia neighborhood when he was shot by two White men who pursued him in a pickup truck
In the wake of the death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that sparked a revolution, the call for justice for Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot to death in February, was just as loud. The 25-year-old Arbery, an unarmed African-American man, was jogging through a south-Georgia neighborhood when he was shot by two White men who pursued him in a pickup truck.
His pursuers, a father-and-son duo were not arrested or charged with the crime until May, despite the father affirming his son's role in the shooting. Now Court TV is giving us access to the case in a segment titled 'The Killing of Ahmaud Arbery'. Here is what you need to know about it:
The airing date for 'The Killing of Ahmaud Arbery' has not been announced as of yet. Please watch this space for updates.
Arbery, a former star high-school linebacker who liked to stay in shape, according to his family, dressed in his work-out clothing and had been jogging in the neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, around 1 pm. He was running in Satilla Shores, where his mother also lived, when a man standing in his front yard saw him pass by, according to a police report.
The man, Gregory McMichael, later told police that he thought Arbery resembled a man suspected of several break-ins in the area. Together with his son, Travis, the two White men trailed after a jogging Arbery reportedly yelling at him to stop running and that they wanted to talk to him.
According to police reports, the men grabbed a .357 Magnum handgun and a shotgun, got into their pickup truck, and went after Arbery, trying to stop him from running. Police also revealed that a third man, William Bryan, had also been involved in the pursuit and followed behind the McMichaels in his car. Bryan had also captured the incident on a graphic video and released it on the internet before subsequently deleting it.
The video showed Arbery mid-jog being obstructed by the pickup truck parked in the center of the street. A White man stood beside the open driver's side of the truck, gun in hand, while another was seen standing in the truck bed. Arbery attempted to go around the vehicle but was stopped by one of the men. Arbery had a brief struggle with the man before a gunshot went off and he dropped to his knees, fatally wounded.
The video, which went viral and incited a nationwide protest, was reportedly posted online at the behest of Gregory McMichael in the hopes that it would make him and his son look better. An autopsy report found that Arbery had been shot thrice — two gunshot wounds in his chest and one gunshot graze on the inside of his wrist. Neither the McMichaels nor Bryan were arrested until May after the video surfaced.
Despite Gregory McMichael's claims that Arbery resembled a suspect who had committed burglaries in the neighborhood, there was no evidence of any wrongdoings on the latter's part. It seemed more like a case of racial profiling, seeing that Arbery was a Black man, jogging through a White neighborhood. Attorneys for Arbery's family revealed to the public that the Department Justice would look in the case as a possible hate crime.
On May 7, more than two months after Arbery's murder, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) announced that Gregory and Travis McMichael had been arrested and charged with aggravated assault and murder. Bryan was taken into custody on May 21 and charged with murder and attempted false imprisonment. A little over a month later, all three men were indicted on murder charges.
In the days and months following Arbery's death, the public and national political figures demanded justice for him and his bereaved family, even comparing his murder to that of Trayvon Martin and Botham Jean.
Gregory Michael, 64, is a former police officer, who also worked as an investigator employed by the district attorney's office. However, according to the Washington Post, McMichael's law enforcement certification and power to arrest had been suspended in February 2019, due to failure in completing compulsory training, including firearms. He was required to give up his badge and weapon and retired in May 2019.
Travis Michael, 34, was previously also involved in a confrontation with an unidentified Black man at Larry English's property, about two weeks before the incident that killed Arbery. On February 11, a neighbor who had been tasked to watch English's property texted him to tell him that Travis McMichael had confronted a man at the construction site. McMichael then called 911 to report the man, saying he "caught a guy running into a house being built, two houses down from me" and identified him as a "Black male".
William Bryan, 50, became the third person to be charged in connection with Arbery's slaying. Bryan, a neighbor to the aforementioned accused, followed the McMichaels after seeing them pass by in their pickup truck and took the video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery, according to the New York Times.
Court TV is a multi-platform network devoted to live coverage with in-depth reporting and expert analysis of the nation's most important and compelling trials. Court TV is part of Katz Networks, a division of The EW Scripps Company.
We will update this space with the official trailer for 'The Killing of Ahmaud Arbery' soon.
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