Two armed white men pursued an unarmed Black man jogging down a road in Georgia and one fatally shot him. Now a grand jury will decide whether there should be charges against them.
District Attorney Tom Durden announced Tuesday he would present to the grand jury the case of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old killed in his South Georgia neighborhood in February, according to The New York Times.
Graphic cell phone video surfaced last week showing Arbery attempting to run past the vehicle of Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34. One of the men shoots Arbery at least twice. Arbery attempt to wrestle control of a shotgun from Travis McMichael before collapsing to the ground while trying to run away. Gregory McMichael was also armed with a .357 Magnum, NBC News reported.
In a statement, Durden said a grand jury would decide if charges would be filed against the two men, who have not been charged despite a community outcry.
Durden is now the third prosecutor assigned to the case after the previous two recused themselves because of their professional ties to Gregory McMichael, a former investigator in the Brunswick District Attorney’s office. Before that, the senior McMichael was a cop for seven years. More from the New York Times:
One of the prosecutors who was previously assigned to the case, George E. Barnhill of the Waycross Judicial District, had advised police that there was insufficient probable cause to arrest Mr. Arbery’s pursuers, arguing that they had acted legally under the state’s citizen arrest and self-defense statutes, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.
Mr. Barnhill eventually asked to be removed from the case because his son worked in the Waycross prosecutor’s office with Mr. McMichael.
Because of the ongoing global pandemic, it’s not clear when a grand jury will convene. Georgia has prohibited grand or trial juries until after June 12. Durden did not specify what charges he would be seeking.