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GBI

The U.S. Justice Department announced federal hate crime charges against the Georgia men who shot "jogger" Ahmaud Arbery as he left a vacant house in their neighborhood.

Gregory McMichael told police Arbery attacked his son, Travis McMichael, before Travis shot and killed him on Feb. 23, 2020.

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Family handout

Arbery was killed after a witness spotted him leaving a vacant house that was under construction. Arbery's family said he was out jogging.

According to the indictment, the McMichaels "armed themselves with firearms, got into a truck and chased Arbery through the public streets of the neighborhood while yelling at Arbery, using their truck to cut off his route and threatening him with firearms."

A third man, William "Roddie" Bryan, followed 25-year-old Arbery in a pickup truck prior to the shooting. Bryan's cell phone recording was placed in evidence against the father and son.

Bryan was arrested in May 2020 by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and charged with felony murder after he told investigators he tried to help the men stop Arbery.

In Georgia a person can be charged with felony murder if they contributed to another's death.

All three men were indicted Wednesday on one count of interference with civil rights and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels are also charged with using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

The three men have been jailed since their arrests. They are due back in court in May.

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The lawyers for slain black jogger Ahmaud Arbery have saluted JAY-Z for helping them seek justice. In an Instagram post, they revealed he chartered a private jet for them so they could attend a probable cause hearing for the defendants in Brunswick, Georgia.

S. Lee Merritt took to Instagram on Thursday to confirm the 50-year-old rap mogul and entrepreneur covered the costs of transporting himself and a colleague to court in Georgia.

"When you absolutely have to be in Court to stand with your client and righteous protestors for justice... Jay Z sends his private jet," he wrote under an Instagram snap of himself outside the plane.

"Court hearing in Brunswick, Georgia this morning. No flights to take us there last night. @leemerrittesq and I spent hours trying to find flights or cars. At 1am we started losing hope till we got a call from Jay Z’s people at Roc Nation who chartered a flight for us to attend this hearing with the family of Ahmaud Arbery," civil rights attorney Blerim Elmazi added.

Merritt also tweeted a photo of himself wearing a black face covering with the words "George Floyd" sewn on it.

He captioned the photo: "An early motion made by the defendants to the court was that I remove my mask. The court declined to consider the motion."

Arbery, 25, was shot and killed on February 23 in Glynn County, Georgia after being pursued and confronted by three white locals in pick-up trucks.

Three men were arrested in connection with the murder after video of the shooting surfaced online.

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The man who recorded Ahmaud Arbery's fatal shooting in Brunswick, Georgia has been arrested and charged with murder.

William "Roddie" Bryan, 50, was arrested Thursday, May 21, on felony murder charges and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, the Associated Press reports.

Arbery, 25, was killed as he ran down a street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood on Feb. 23. He was pursued by Travis McMichael, 34, and his father, retired cop Gregory McMichael, 64, who rode in the bed of a pickup truck armed with a .357 magnum.

Arbery was shot three times during a struggle over Travis's shotgun. Bryan was in a second vehicle and recorded the life and death struggle on his cell phone.

Gregory McMichael leaked the video to a radio station because he thought the footage would vindicate him and his son. But the video footage caused outrage on social media and sparked reactions from President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden.

The McMichaels were finally arrested two months after the shooting. Both were charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. They are in the Glynn County jail awaiting trial.

Bryan, through his attorney, claimed he received death threats and was in hiding because he feared for his life.

His arrest comes two days after Arbery's family attorney, S. Lee Merritt, called for him to be charged.
 

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Gossiponthis.com

The sister of the man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery on Feb. 23 in Brunswick, Georgia, said she posted a photo of his blood-soaked body on Snapchat because she's a fan of "true crime," according to UK's The Sun newspaper.

Lindsay McMichael, 30, apologized for posting the graphic, unedited photo of Arbery lying dead in the street after he was shot by her brother, Travis McMichael, 34, during a struggle over a shotgun.

Travis and his father, former Brunswick police detective Gregory McMichael, 64, are being held in jail without bond while awaiting trial on murder charges.

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Snapchat.com

Lindsay said she didn't mean any harm when she posted the photo. "The thing is I'm a huge fan of true crime. I listen to 4 or 5 podcasts a week. I'm constantly watching that sort of thing," she told The Sun.

"It was more of a 'Holy sh*t, I can't believe this has happened.' It was absolutely poor judgment."

The McMichaels, who are Caucasian, reportedly chased Arbery for four minutes after he was spotted inside a renovated home in the Satilla Shores neighborhood where they live. Arbery lived about 12 miles away. His mother said he was out jogging when he was ambushed and killed.

Lindsay defended her father and brother, saying they never "wanted to kill anybody" and always "loved" the non-Caucasian boyfriends she brought home.

"I've never dated anyone of the same race since I was 19," she told The Sun. "My dad and my brother loved everyone I've ever dated as if they were their own son or brother."

She said she was at home watching a movie when the shooting occurred just before 11 a.m. on Feb. 23. She said her brother looked "desperate" when she saw him after the murder.

"I've seen my brother in his happiest moments. I was there when his child was born and I've seen him in distress and I know that look," she said. "It wasn't like some glory thing, like, 'I stalked and then got the kill I was hoping for.'"

She added: "It was absolute f**king panic... I really do believe that things just escalated so fast. I will until the day that I die believe that he had no intention of malice like that."

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The mystery is solved: Authorities tracked down the person who left a suspicious note at the memorial site for Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man who was gunned down by two white men in Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23.

The note, which was left near the spot where Arbery was killed, read: "I am so sorry. I should have stopped them. I am so sorry."

The note sparked conspiracy theories about a 4th person being at the scene when Arbery was shot by Travis McMichael during a struggle after Arbery reached for McMichael's shotgun.

S. Lee Merritt, the Georgia attorney who is representing Arbery's mother, tweeted, "We need to discover who left this note!"

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation tracked down the note author and determined the person just wanted to leave their condolences to the family.

The GBI announced the person was "expressing their condolences for Arbery's death."

Travis, 34, and his father, retired police detective Gregory McMichael, 64, are being held without bond while awaiting trial on murder and aggravated assault charges.

Daniel Pier/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Black conservatives distanced themselves from Candace Owens when she suggested Ahmaud Arbery was not out jogging the day he died in Glynn County, Georgia.

Arbery, 25, was killed by Travis McMichael, 34, and his father Gregory McMichael, a retired police detective, in Brunswick, Ga.

The two suspects caught Arbery inside a neighbor's home that was under renovation. They pursued Arbery to make a citizen's arrest, but he was killed during a struggle when he reached for Travis McMichael's shotgun.

Owens, a conservative pro-Trump activist, dismissed the narrative that Arbery was just out jogging that day.

He wore a white t-shirt and khaki shorts that sagged off his buttocks -- not the typical jogging outfit.

Owens tweeted on May 9:

"Ahmaud Arbery was caught on camera breaking into an unfinished property that was owned by Larry English. His mother has confirmed it is him in the video. Please stop with the "just a jogger" bullshit narrative. Avid joggers don’t wear khaki shorts & stop to break into homes."

She added:

"Daily mail has published the full 4 minute video of Ahmaud Arbery WALKING* up the street, and then ENTERING a private property which was under construction. As I said: He didn't deserve to die but the 'just a jogger' narrative was a race-baiting LIE."

Black conservatives reacted with anger to Owens' tweets. They distanced themselves from Owens.

Jonathan Throwe, former South Carolina director for the BLEXIT movement, said Owens will do anything to please white people, including criminalizing a Black man after death.

Throwe said he left the BLEXIT movement because he resented Owens portraying Black America negatively in the face of white supporters.

"She will blatantly ignore the facts that would equally cause White America to have to look in the mirror themselves on key issues," he said.

"I decided to resign from BLEXIT to prevent being associated with someone who doesn't speak for Black people, but speaks against Black people."

Diante Johnson, President of the Black Conservative Federation, asked, "Why is she so hateful?

And Shermichael Singletary, a conservative political commentator for cable news, addressed Owens indirectly: "If you're Black & conservative and your [sic] only purpose is talking down your own community for applause & acceptance from white people, you have a problem."

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Screengrab: YouTube

News4Jax reporter Kelly Wiley tracked down the owner of the renovation property where Ahmaud Arbery was caught on video just minutes before he was gunned down by the son of a former police detective on Feb. 23.

Travis McMichael, 34, and his father Gregory McMichael, 64, are awaiting trial on felony murder and aggravated assault charges in Arbery's death.

The videos, published on May 10 by News4Jax, show a man who appears to be Arbery visiting the construction property on multiple occasions - day and night - as far back as October 2019.

In one undated video recorded at 2 a.m., a shirtless Black man is seen wandering around inside the unoccupied house that was under renovation. All of the videos appear to be of the same man.

The man seen on surveillance video in the house on February 23 was positively identified as Arbery by attorney Ben Crump, who represents Arbery's father.

Crump said the videos don't change the events leading up to Arbery's murder. Arbery did not appear to take anything from the house, and the videos do not justify the shooting that happened after he exited the house.
 

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Cobb TV

The new prosecutor in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case is already drawing comparisons to Tammy Kemp, the Black Texas judge who was heavily criticized for embracing former cop Amber Guyger at the end of her murder trial.

Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the shooting death of her Black neighbor Botham Jean.

The Internet gave a unanimous vote of no confidence to Joyette Holmes, the Black Cobb County prosecutor who was tapped to lead the Arbery murder case on Monday.

Arbery, 25, was killed by two white men in Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23.

Holmes is the 4th prosecutor to take over the case.

Black Twitter users reacted with anger after Twitter activist Tariq Nasheed posted a photo of Holmes posing with law enforcement officers in Cobb County, a majority Republican district north of Atlanta.

"There is no point in having black ppl in the justice system they are worse than the white ppl," tweeted on user. "All they care about is their status and pleasing white ppl. It’s a slap in the face honestly."

"Why didn't they just get Diamond and Silk??" wrote another.

"Another Tammy the mammy," tweeted a third user.

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Cobb County DA's Office

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr on Monday named Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes to take over the Ahmaud Arbery murder case, NPR reported.

Holmes will be the 4th prosecutor and the first Black woman to lead the investigation.

Arbery, 25, was killed by two white men in Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23.

Travis McMichael, 34, and his father Gregory McMichael, 64, a retired police detective, were arrested last week and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.

In a statement on the Cobb County district attorney's Facebook page, Holmes said, "Our office will immediately gather all materials related to the investigation thus far and continues to seek additional information to move this case forward."

The previous prosecutors recused themselves because they were either friends with or colleagues of the suspects.

Holmes was previously both a prosecutor and defense lawyer in Cobb County, according to her bio on the county website.

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The Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed they are reviewing new surveillance video that shows Ahmaud Arbery was trespassing inside a property under construction.

The new video conflicts with the narrative that 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was out for a jog when he was confronted on the road and fatally shot by father and son white supremacists in Brunswick, Georgia.

Arbery was gunned down on Feb. 23 in Satilla Shores, a working class majority white neighborhood in Glynn County in south Georgia.

The triggerman, Travis McMichael, 34, and his father, former cop Gregory McMichael were arrested on Thursday and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault by the GBI.

Cellphone video shows Travis McMichael and Arbery wrestling over Travis' shotgun before Arbery was shot 3 times and bled out on the ground.

Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, said her son was out jogging in the neighborhood when he was shot and killed.

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Screenshot: GBI

But new surveillance video obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper shows a person who appears to be Arbery walking near a construction site just down the road from his fatal encounter with the McMichaels.

Arbery, wearing a white t-shirt and khaki shorts, is seen entering a house under construction through the open garage. He disappears from camera view and moments later, he quickly emerges from the house through the front door.

A neighbor wearing overalls stands across the road observing the construction site. A car passes, and a minute later, Arbery runs down Satilla Drive toward Travis McMichael's house.

According to ABC News, Travis called police 12 days before the shooting to report seeing a Black man enter a nearby construction property. The man ran off and Travis waited out front until police arrived.

Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing Arbery's father, said the new video doesn't change the facts that Arbery was simply "out for a jog," and his murder was not justified.

"Our office has reviewed the surveillance video which appears to show a person, believed to be Ahmaud Arbery, entering a property under construction," Crump said in a statement on Saturday. "The individual remains on the property for under 3 minutes before continuing to jog down the road. This video is consistent with the evidence already known to us. Ahmaud Arbery was out for a jog. He stopped by a property under construction where he engaged in no illegal activity and remained for only a brief period. Ahmaud did not take anything from the construction site. He did not cause any damage to the property. He remained for a brief period of time and was not instructed by anyone to leave but rather left on his own accord to continue his jog.

"Ahmaud's actions at this empty home under construction were in no way a felony under Georgia law. This video confirms that Mr. Arbery’s murder was not justified and the actions of the men who pursued him and ambushed him were unjustified. We reiterate, Ahmaud Arbery did not take part in ANY felony, had no illegal substances in his system, was not armed yet was shot three times with a shotgun at close range."

Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery Sr., spoke to Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB at a rally on Saturday.

"If he committed a crime, why don't you call the authorities?" Marcus Arbery said. "But you came at him like you were hunting an animal."