Skip to comments.Ahmaud Arbery: Victim of a Racist Lynching or an Unfortunate Incident?
Posted on 05/18/2020 8:32:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Its all over the news, two white guys shot a black man in Georgia while he was jogging because they thought he was a burglar. The racial aspect touched a nerve, which was compounded because Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael took the law into their own hands. It looked like the Trayvon Martin fatal shooting all over again. And things got worse when more details started coming out.
So is this a modern day racist lynching, as some like Al Sharpton are claiming, or is it merely an unfortunate situation? Now its too early to pass judgment, since the men are entitled to a jury trial in a court of law. We dont know all of the facts yet. But we do know quite a few, and the main controversy seems to come down to the mens decision to follow Armery.
People were outraged that the men were not arrested right away. It took the release of a video of the shooting a couple months later, invoking loud protests, to arrest them.
The prosecutor for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, Jackie Johnson, recused herself because the elder McMichael had worked in her office. The next prosecutor assigned to the case, Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill, also recused himself because his son worked for Johnsons office.
Shortly before the shooting occurred, a neighbor of the McMichaels called 911 and said a black man had entered a house that was under construction nearby. The McMichaels say they saw Arbery jogging and got into their truck to follow him. Now anyone in law enforcement will tell you its not a good idea as a citizen to accost someone who is not in the process of committing a crime. If Arbery had burglarized homes, he wasnt burglarizing one when they saw him jogging down the road.
But the law is vague about timing. In Georgia, the private citizens arrest statute says, A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge. The McMichaels apparently thought Arbery had just come from robbing a home.
Prosecutors initially told the police not to arrest the two men, saying they were acting within Georgias citizens arrest and self-defense statutes. However, Arbery family attorney S. Lee Merritt says the most Arbery was doing was trespassing, which doesnt justify a citizens arrest. Those who know Arbery say he was known for jogging in that area.
The McMichaels said they yelled, Stop, stop, we want to talk to you. The elder McMichael said his son got out of the car with a shotgun. He said Arbery started to violently attack Travis and the two started fighting over the shotgun. Travis then shot Arbery three times. Arbery did not appear to be armed.
Barnhill said in his letter recusing himself that the older McMichael had previously investigated Arbery. CNN obtained a text message that was sent to a homeowner by a Glynn County police officer instructing him to contact Gregory McMichael if he saw a burglar on his security cameras.
Barnhill also said that Arbery had a criminal history. Arbery was indicted for bringing a gun to a high school basketball game when he was 19. He was arrested in 2018 for shoplifting. Barnhill said he believed the shooting was justified as a citizens arrest. He questioned whether maybe Arbery had caused the shotgun to be fired.
The McMichaels claim Arbery looked like a suspect in a string of burglaries. Travis McMichael called 911 several days before the shooting to report a man going into a house. One homeowner said he has previous video of a man entering his property and stealing fishing tackle. But Glynn County Police Lt. Cheri Bashlor said just one burglary in the neighborhood had been reported, theft of a firearm in an unlocked car outside the McMichaels home. And Larry English, who owned the home under construction, said nothing had ever been stolen from the home.
George Zimmerman, who fatally shot Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012, was acquitted of charges by a jury that found he was acting in self-defense. Zimmerman got out of his car and followed Martin because he thought he was a burglary suspect and was behaving suspiciously. There was evidence there had been a scuffle, since Zimmerman had a bloody nose along with lumps and two cuts on his head.
The two shootings are so similar there is a very good chance a jury will acquit the McMichaels. So should people be outraged? The problem likely lies in the law. Perhaps citizens arrest laws need to be narrowed to make it clear that citizens can only arrest suspects at the time of the crime, not 20 minutes later. Its the concept of private citizens chasing after a suspect who isnt in the process of committing a crime that bothers people. It makes it look like the people in pursuit are escalating the chances of violence.
Lindsay McMichael, the sister and daughter of the suspects, has come forward saying that the two are not racist, that they have always approved of her nonwhite boyfriends.
This doesnt appear to be a racist hate crime. Its most likely a situation where the law failed and needs to be revised. As a former police officer, the senior McMichael no doubt knew the citizens arrest law well, having encountered people using it while on the beat. He thought he was within his rights to follow Arbery. But it doesnt mean it was a good judgment call.
Ahmaud Arbery was running and being tailed by the vehicle of the McMichael's. They were not in danger of anything.
“Ahmaud Arbery was running and being tailed by the vehicle of the McMichael’s. They were not in danger of anything. “
Another PU joined the chase and got him boxed in. Seems everyone involve made bad choices. Unfortunately, for the sake of the truth, the initial on-ground confrontation in the video is mostly blocked by the PU.
This case will be decided if the prosecution can show evidence this was just a runner/jogger out doing his exercise thing in an unsafe neighborhood.
Not in danger ... UNTIL .... Abery charged at the person with the shotgun. I believe that much of this will come down to the timing of the first shot.
If the first shot was fired AFTER the physical contact, then there is a good chance that self defense will come into play.
If it can be shown that the first shot was made before the physical contact, then I can easily see a charge of manslaughter.
In either case, I am of the opinion that a charge of murder might be very difficult to prove given the LEO background, citizen’s arrest law and the criminal history of the deceased.
I am of the personal opinion that making a citizen’s arrest is very perilous. If not by the person being arrested, then by the court system that follows. IOW, you had better be PROVABLY and LEGALLY correct in the need for an arrest and in your conduct during the arrest.
Arbery ran at a man with a shotgun... then tried to wrestle it away. Why are you making excuses for a common criminal?
RE: This case will be decided if the prosecution can show evidence this was just a runner/jogger out doing his exercise thing in an unsafe neighborhood.
I read that he was 12 miles from his home. Does anybody go jogging that far away from home>
As I see it since we don’t have all the facts..still I have a problem with them following him with their cameraman in tow. Further pulling a gun on him.
This was a police matter from the start....period.
RE: Why are you making excuses for a common criminal?
I don’t make any excuses for anyone and I won’t call him a common criminal because the case has not yet been tried.
I suggest you hold off the label until all things become clear.
RE: This was a police matter from the start....period.
They can continue to follow Arbery. But they should have called the police while doing so, not confront him with a gun.
Based on what we know, I don’t think he was lynched but he did lose his life because of the actions of two non-police idiots brandishing guns out in the street for no good or self-defensive reason.
He was roughly 2 miles from home...lived across the 4 lane in the Fancy Bluffs S/D. Fancy Bluffs Rd is what Satilla Rd becomes when it crosses the 4 lane road.
.....”Not in danger ... UNTIL .... Abery charged at the person with the shotgun”.....
They should not have followed to begin with and certainly not pull a gun on the guy. How was the guy suppose to know why they were doing that or even who they were? I’d fight back as well..
The deceased didn’t have a criminal history. Citizen’s arrest requires a person to be an eye witness to a crime, which these guys were not. Self defense has no bearing since the victim, a jogger, was being assaulted. He had the benefit of any stand your ground law, and pointing a gun at someone is assault. The timing of the first shot is immaterial as the victim did not shoot anyone. As for the LEO background, the father had that, but his son did not. They were both bullies and a-holes, and the moral of the story is if you are an a-hole, don’t raise your children to become a-holes.
There had been a lot of robbery activity in this tiny neighborhood (which can lead to bodily danger) and the two "idiots" believed they were on the trail of the culprit.
Who wouldn’t be scared with someone following you with a shot gun? But he should have called police not try and wrestle the shot gun from them.
The father and son should have called the police and not taken things into their own hands. Film him and hand over to police the film.
Their stupid actions caused a man to lose his one and only life over an action they had not even witnessed and who posed no threat to them or their property until they initiated a confrontation.
That’s how I see it......because there was no way the jogger could know ‘who’ they were or ‘why’ they had a gun on him.
When I lived a summer in NJ there was a housing devlopement project going up in back of our home. Homes were at various levels of going up and everyone in the neighborhood would go into them when the builders were off for the day....adults and kids.
‘I am of the opinion that a charge of murder might be very difficult to prove’
I think it was absolutely clear that it wasn’t murder; the proximate cause of the unfortunate victim’s death was his decision to charge the gun...I don’t know if when the first shot was fired matters, because of that aggressive act by the deceased...
if anything, I thought they could be charged with no more than reckless endangerment, as they had to know that their armed chase could escalate into a shooting...
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