Three white men deny murder over fatal shooting of unarmed black jogger

Three white men have pleaded not guilty to murder charges over the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.

Mr Arbery, 25, was unarmed when he was shot dead while jogging in the coastal town of Brunswick on 23 February.

His death sparked a national outcry after phone footage of the incident went viral, and became a touchstone for many who joined widespread Black Lives Matter protests following the police killing of George Floyd in May.

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

Former police officer Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, denied killing him when they appeared before Chatham County Superior Court on Friday.

Their neighbour, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr, 50, who is said to have filmed the video, has also denied murder and a separate charge of attempting to illegally detain and confine.

Police say the older McMichael had seen Mr Arbery jogging through his neighbourhood and believed he looked like a burglary suspect.

He is accused of calling his son, with the pair – both armed – then said to have driven after Mr Arbery.

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Bryan is accused of joining the chase in his own vehicle and recording the video, which appeared to show the McMichaels confronting Mr Arbery before he was fired upon with a shotgun.

Judge Timothy Walmsley accepted the not guilty pleas on Friday and waived arraignment at the request of the defendants’ lawyers.

Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead on 23 February
Image:Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead on 23 February in Brunswick

No court date was immediately set, but there were several motions pending for later on Friday on behalf of Bryan, including a request for bond.

“Keeping him in jail isn’t going to accomplish anything,” Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough, told reporters on Thursday.

“Going in and out of jail is difficult because of the virus, and being in jail is tough with the virus,” he added.

It is also reported that he plans to ask that the state replace the lead prosecutor.

Mark Gibson

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

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