The death of 24-year-old Black man Ahmaud Arbery in a small Georgia town this past February was something of a mystery as the white men who carried out the crime managed to duck any legal consequences. After video footage of the incident surfaced, state officials arrested and charged the father and son duo for killing Arbery in cold blood.
As reported by several outlets, including WSB in Atlanta, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations examined video footage of the exchange between Arbery and Gregory and Travis McMichael. Arbery was jogging in the small coastal town of Brunswick in southeast Georgia when the father and son took it upon themselves to carry out vigilante justice based on a hunch that Arbery fit the description of a man accused of committing crimes in the neighborhood.
Cellphone footage of the exchange made its rounds on news outlets earlier this week, sparking renewed outrage after the initial details went wide in an extensive report by The New York Times. The local district attorney was aware of the incident but didn’t see fit to hand down charges due to McMichael and son making a so-called citizens arrest and the fact that Arbery reportedly resisted.
The GBI began investigating the crime and video evidence this past Tuesday and by Thursday, the decision to arrest and charge the father and son was carried out swiftly. The men left with the authorities peacefully and were charged with aggravated assault and murder. It isn’t known if the men have retained the services of an attorney.
Celebrities and others have joined a growing call for justice since the revelation of the video, with stars such as LeBron James and Michael B. Jordan among others calling for justice.