Glynn County is located along the Georgia coast in the southeastern part of the state. It’s the home of some of Georgia’s best coastal tourist spots – Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and St. Simon’s Island. Unfortunately, it’s also in the hot seat over a heartbreaking crime that took place in February.
On February 23, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was out jogging when he came across a white pickup truck with two men inside. Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son were in the truck. They had called 911 to report a black man running down the street and had suspected that Arbery had broken into houses in the area recently.
McMichael claims that he and his son asked Arbery to stop and talk to them. A struggle ensued, and Arbery was shot and killed.
This week, video that appears to show the incident has surfaced.
(Warning: the footage is disturbing.)
Glynn County District Attorney Tom Durden has requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation look into the shooting, along with investigating the release of the video and threats against local law enforcement. Durden has also called for a grand jury investigation.
The video has prompted a reaction from Joe Biden:
Governor Brian Kemp has also called for further investigation into the case.
The shooting has gotten the attention of national and international media, and protesters are gathering in Brunswick, the county seat of Glynn County, to call for justice for Arbery’s killing.
The case has some mitigating circumstances, because McMichael’s son Travis, who fired the shot, is a former investigator for the DA’s office, and he claims he was making a citizen’s arrest.
The Arbery family attorney made a statement to the Washington Post:
“Mr. Arbery had not committed any crime and there was no reason for these men to believe they had the right to stop him with weapons or to use deadly force in furtherance of their unlawful attempted stop,” Merritt wrote in a statement. “This is murder.”
Here’s hoping that the grand jury investigation will get to the bottom of what happened on February 23. May the Arbery family get justice, and may the community find closure.