Ex-police officer and son charged with murder of black jogger in US

A former US police officer and his son have been charged with the murder of a black man who was shot dead while jogging.

Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael were arrested on Thursday over the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed near the city of Brunswick, Georgia in February.

The charges were brought by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) after video of the incident emerged earlier this week.

Gregory McMichael and his son were charged with murder and aggravated assault. Pic: Georgia Bureau of Investigations
Image:Gregory McMichael has been charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery. Pic: Georgia Bureau of Investigations
Travis McMichael fired the shots that killed Ahmaud Arbery, police say. Pic: Georgia Bureau of Investigations
Image:Travis McMichael is also charged with murder. Pic: Georgia Bureau of Investigations

The video was taken by an unidentified witness in another car.

Gregory McMichael, 64, told detectives in February that he and his son chased after Mr Arbery because they suspected him of being a burglar.

But Mr Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, said she believed her 25-year-old son – a former American football player – was simply jogging in the area before he was killed on 23 February.

The GBI said in a statement that the McMichaels “confronted Arbery with two firearms” and “during the encounter, Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery”.

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Ahmaud Arbery
Image:Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead in February

According to a police report, the McMichaels grabbed a revolver and a shotgun, jumped into a truck and followed Arbery as he ran.

They told officers Arbery matched the description of someone caught on a security camera committing a recent burglary in the neighbourhood, the police report said.

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Gregory McMichael, who served as an investigator for Glynn County district attorney Jackie Johnson until last year, told police that Arbery had violently attacked his son.

At a news conference on Thursday before the arrests were announced, Georgia governor Brian Kemp said the killing was “absolutely horrific”.

He said: “Earlier this week I watched the video depicting Mr Arbery’s last moments alive. I can tell you it’s absolutely horrific, and Georgians deserve answers.”

Gov Kemp told reporters he was confident the GBI would “find the truth”.

The McMichaels have also been charged with aggravated assault.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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