BBC, June 25, 2020
A grand jury in the US state of Georgia has indicted three white men in the killing of unarmed black man Ahmaud Arbery in February, officials say.
Travis McMichael, his son Greg, and William Bryan were indicted by Glynn County’s Grand Jury on charges including malice and felony murder.
Mr Arbery, 25, was jogging when he was shot dead during a confrontation with the father and son on 23 February.
The incident in Brunswick was captured on a video, drawing a national outcry.
“This is another positive step, another great step for finding justice for Ahmaud, for finding justice for this family and the community beyond,” District Attorney Joyette Holmes said on Wednesday.
Reacting to the jury’s indictment, Mr Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told NBC Nightly News: “At this point I do believe the case is moving in the right direction.
“This just empowers us to fight. This is just the first steps of it – we still have a long way to go.”
Defence lawyers for the McMichaels have cautioned against a rush to judgment, the Associated Press reports.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for Mr Bryan, who filmed Mr Arbery’s death on his mobile phone, has maintained that his client was merely a witness.
Huge protests have recently been taking place across the US following the death of another unarmed black man, George Floyd, in police custody last month.
What happened to Ahmaud Arbery?
In the moments before the fatal confrontation, Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis, 34, armed themselves with a pistol and shotgun and pursued Mr Arbery in a pickup truck in Brunswick’s Satilla Shores neighbourhood.
Gregory McMichael later told police he believed that Mr Arbery resembled the suspect in a series of local break-ins.
Mr Bryan’s 36-second video leaked online on 5 May, generating a nationwide outcry that was swiftly followed by murder charges. It was filmed by Mr Bryan from his vehicle while he was driving behind Mr Arbery.
The clip appears to show Mr Arbery running down a tree-lined street as the McMichaels wait ahead for him in their vehicle.
A tussle follows between the younger McMichael and Mr Arbery, who falls to the ground.
The three defendants were not charged until more than two months after Mr Arbery was killed. State police began investigating after footage of the incident circulated.