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Several prominent figures including likely 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have reacted with disgust and outrage following the posting of a video showing the February shooting death of a young black man in Georgia.
According to reports, Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was jogging in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick when he was chased down by a former police officer and his son.
A Glynn County Police report says that Gregory McMichael, the former officer, told investigators he thought that Arbery looked like someone who was suspected of being involved in a series of recent break-ins in the region.
After chasing down Arbery, he and McMichael’s son, Travis, struggled over the son’s shotgun. During the struggle, three shots were fired and Arbery fell onto the street, according to the video.
Are these two men “good people” too, @realDonaldTrump? I call on you and @GovKemp to condemn the actions of these two white men as terrorism, hatred, inhumanity, insanity, immorality and evil. Unconscionable. #AhmaudArbery pic.twitter.com/XoYmrlr6sR
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) May 5, 2020
In a letter to the local police department, George Barnhill, a district attorney who recused himself from the case but who also saw the autopsy report, said that Arbery was wounded three times during the struggle for the shotgun.
In the video, it’s not clear what started the struggle or what may have led Arbery to react. It’s also not clear who was taking the video or why. It was originally posted online by a local radio host but CNN reported that the video has been taken down from the radio station’s website.
So far, there have been no charges filed against Gregory or Travis McMichael, but CNN noted that Tom Durden, the DA for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, said in a news release Tuesday that he will likely present the case to the next available grand jury in Glynn County to consider whether charges are warranted.
Right now, grand juries are not being convened due to the coronavirus pandemic.
S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the Arbery family, said in a statement that both men involved in the chase “must be taken into custody pending their indictment.”
Meanwhile, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp offered the resources of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to help with the probe. “Georgians deserve answers,” he said in a tweet.
State Attorney General Chris Carr added that he was “deeply concerned” about the video and the accompanying news reports.
A number of people took to Twitter to express their anger and resentment over the incident, including prominent political figures like Biden, who claimed — without all of the evidence at this point — that Arbery “was killed in cold blood.”
The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder. https://t.co/alvY5WjdHx
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 6, 2020
WARNING: this video of Ahmaud Arbery being gunned down by two civilians while out on a run is extremely disturbing.
Two months later, the suspects have not yet been arrested and an investigation is just now being launched. His family deserves justice for his murder. https://t.co/yFGYr5OzNb
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) May 5, 2020
Some, including former U.S. Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, once a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, suggested a racial undertone to the incident.
I would ask why the killers are not already in jail, two months later, but we know why. Still, there is a chance for justice to be done. There must be accountability and there must be consequences for murder of Ahmaud Arbery. https://t.co/iRpwELmCr2
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 5, 2020
As more needed attention focuses on the troubling killing of #AhmaudArbery, our systems of law enforcement and justice must be held to the highest standards: full investigation, appropriate charges and an unbiased prosecution. https://t.co/5mYI4vA8A6 https://t.co/rQgOAUbTa1
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) May 5, 2020
I watched the #AhmadArbery video. It was an old fashion South Georgia father/son lynching.
— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) May 5, 2020
The video of #AhmaudArbery sickens me to my core.
Exercising while Black shouldn't be a death sentence.https://t.co/GV7GFju7tr
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 5, 2020
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