A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia on April 28 indicted and charged three men with federal hate crimes in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
The jury each charged Travis McMichael, his father and former police officer Gregory, and William “Roddie” Bryan with interference with rights and attempted kidnapping of Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man shot and killed in Brunswick when he was jogging on Feb. 23, 2020.
The jury also charged the McMichaels of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, as well as discharging a firearm for 35-year-old Travis’ case.
“The three defendants chased Arbery through the neighborhood, using their trucks — and in the case of the McMichaels, firearms — in an attempt to restrain Arbery, restrict his free movement, corral, and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape,” the indictment said.
The indictment alleged that the three men attacked Arbery because of his race.
Gregory, 65, said last year that he suspected Arbery was a burglar. He later leaked a video of the fatal encounter because he wanted “the public to know the truth that he and his son were not white supremacists,” Alan Tucker, his attorney, told NBC News.
The video went viral on social media in May 2020, sparking national outrage on racism and that no one had been arrested in relation to the fatal incident.
All three defendants had previously been charged in state court with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony — all of which they pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set for the state charges.
Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, filed a lawsuit against the three men, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers alleging that they engaged in a cover-up.
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