We are learning more tonight about the killing of Ahmaud Arbery by Travis McMichael and a racial epithet used by McMichael while Arbery was on the ground dying:
Here’s more from NBC News:
The white Georgia man accused of killing an unarmed black man, Ahmaud Arbery, used a racial slur after the fatal shooting, according to another suspect’s account to an investigator.
The allegation was revealed as the prosecution presented its case at a preliminary hearing on Thursday morning for defendants Gregory McMichael, 64, his son Travis McMichael, 34, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 50.
Glynn County Judge Wallace E. Harrell decided there was enough evidence to proceed.
The trio was arrested last month in the death of Arbery in February. The McMichaels appeared in court via a video from jail. Bryan was not present for Thursday’s hearing.
Special agent Richard Dial with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said during the hearing that Bryan said during a May 13 interview that he heard Travis McMichael say, “f—ing n-word” after Arbery had been shot.
The defense noted that Bryan had been interviewed before May 13 and had not mentioned that Travis McMichael used a racial slur.
Dial went on to say that Travis McMichael had also previously used the n-word on social media in January, allegedly responding to an unspecified Instagram post that it would have been better if someone had “blown the f—ing n-word’s head off.”
What McMichael said was horrible. No question about it.
But what I found more newsworthy were the details of how the McMichaels, together with Bryan, trapped Arbery with vehicles before they killed him:
The McMichaels were taken into custody on May 7 and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault for their role in Arbery’s death after a video of the fatal shooting was released. Bryan was arrested two weeks later on charges of felony murder and attempted false imprisonment.
Arbery, 25, was shot to death in the coastal city of Brunswick on Feb. 23 after he was pursued by the McMichaels. His family said he was out for a jog, while the McMichaels said they thought he was a burglary suspect.
Video from Bryan’s home and from his cellphone was played in court and provided more details of the incident:
- Travis McMichael gets out of the truck and is holding a gun in a pointed position.
- Arbery sees this, changes direction and runs around the opposite side of the vehicle.
- Travis McMichael moves around to the front of the truck. When Arbery sees Travis McMichael again at the front of the truck he engages him.
- A gunshot is heard, Arbery and Travis McMichael go off screen, and then there is a second shot proceeded by blood spraying into the camera frame.
- After being shot, Arbery gets past Travis McMichael and starts to run again and then falls.
- During all of this, Gregory McMichael is in the back of the truck. He calls 911 and then drops the phone when the confrontation begins and pulls out his gun.
In court, Dial suggested there was evidence Arbery was also struck by Bryan’s pickup after he allegedly drove to the confrontation and blocked the victim as he ran.
A prosecutor said in court Thursday that Arbery “was chased, hunted down and ultimately executed at the hands of these men. He was defenseless and he was unarmed.”
Bryan is accused of using his vehicle to “attempt to confine and detain Ahmaud Arbery without legal authority” during the incident, according to a state criminal warrant.
Investigators believe the “underlying felony” of false imprisonment by Bryan “helped cause the death of Ahmaud Arbery,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds said at a news conference last month.
Assuming all of this is correct, it’s horrific and they deserve whatever they get.