‘In cold blood’: Outrage over video of unarmed black jogger shot dead

A grand jury is set to decide if a white former police officer and his son should be charged over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man who was out jogging.

Ahmaud Arbery was killed in Brunswick, Georgia, in February, but a newly emerged video of the shooting has caused outrage.

Prosecutors had previously signalled reluctance to file charges against Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis.

Video emerged on May 5 showing the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old man who was pursued by armed men through the suburban neighbourhood

Video shows the moments before the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery

But prosecutor Tom Durden, the acting district attorney for a neighbouring district, said in a letter on Facebook: “I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr Arbery.”

Mr Durden was assigned to investigate the 25-year-old’s death after prosecutors in Brunswick and another neighbouring district recused themselves due to potential conflicts of interest.

He said he would present the case to the next available grand jury in Glynn County, although that may not be until mid-June or later because courts are under restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the video, which was taken by an unidentified witness in another car, Mr Arbery can be seen jogging down a narrow two-lane road and around a white pickup truck stopped in the right lane with its driver’s door open.

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As he crosses back in front of the vehicle a gun is fired.

Mr Arbery can then be seen struggling with a man holding a rifle as a second man stands in the bed of the truck brandishing a revolver.

Two more shots are heard before he stumbles and falls face-down onto the ground.

Shared by journalist and campaigner Shaun King, the video has led to an outpouring of anger.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden said: “The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood.

“My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder.”

Joe Biden has publicly denied claims he sexually assaulted a former aide
Image:Joe Biden has called for a ‘swift, full, and transparent investigation’

Gregory McMichael – a former police officer and district attorney’s investigator – told investigators the incident began when he spotted Mr Arbery from his front yard “hauling ass” down the street.

Mr McMichael said he summoned his son to help chase Mr Arbery in the truck because he suspected him of being behind a series of burglaries in the area.

Gregory McMichael was carrying a .357 Magnum revolver and his son had a shotgun.

Gregory McMichael claimed Mr Arbery began to “violently attack” Travis and fought him over the shotgun, prompting his son to open fire.

It is not clear from the police report or the video if Gregory McMichael also fired any shots at Mr Arbery.

A letter obtained by the New York Times indicates the prosecutor in Brunswick argued there was not probable cause to arrest the McMichaels because they were legally carrying firearms, had a right to pursue a burglary suspect and use deadly force to protect themselves.

Mark Gibson

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

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