Two men have been arrested and charged for the murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed while jogging in Georgia. The two men, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested on Thursday night.
The pair was also charged with aggravated assault for the shooting death which was captured on video and went viral this week, according to ABC News.
In the video which surfaced online, Arbery was confronted by Gregory and Travis McMichael who were in their truck. The two men confronted Arbery with weapons drawn before a scuffle ensued and Arbery was fatally shot with a shotgun.
Arbery was unarmed.
“It’s outrageous that it has taken more than two months for Ahmaud Arbery’s executioners to be arrested, but better late than never,” family attorney Ben Crump said in a statement. “This is the first step to justice. This murderous father and son duo took the law into their own hands.”
"As of today, we feel a sense of relief," says Jasmine Arbery, reacting to the arrest of two men involved in the fatal shooting of her brother, Ahmaud Arbery.
— CNN (@CNN) May 8, 2020
Another family attorney, Lee Merritt, outlined what is next in the process to find justice for Arbery.
“Prosecutors will need a grand jury in order to formally indict these men, but that has nothing to do with actually going out and arresting the men seen on camera murdering a 25-year-old unarmed black man,” Merritt said. “The prosecutors actually have the option, if they so chose to, to directly indictment and skip the entire grand jury process. It’s something that happens all the time in our legal system, and this would certainly be an appropriate moment.”
Gregory McMichael is a former police officer who said that he and his son believed Arbery was a burglar. After following him on the road, his son, Travis, fired the fatal shot. The two claimed they were acting within Georgia’s citizens’ arrest and self-defense laws.
Our deepest condolences go out to Arbery’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.