Ahmaud Arbery: McMichael Called Man ‘N-Word’ Racist Slur After Shooting, Witness Says
In February, Ahmaud Arbery was jogging when he was accosted by two men with guns. The viral video of the event shows the younger, Travis McMichael, in a physical confrontation with Arbery while the senior McMichael, Gregory, a former employee of the justice system in various capacities, looks on from the truck bed. The video cuts away from the two at one point, and cuts off shortly after the young man falls to the ground. Today’s court hearing helped fill in some blanks — such as the fact that a witness says Travis called Arbery a “f***ing n*****” after the gunshots that took his life.
The AJC reports that the three defendants in the case — both McMichaels men, and William Bryan, who filmed the encounter — appeared in court for a bond hearing this morning, by video feed from a detention center, due to COVID-19 restrictions. All three are charged with Arbery’s murder.
Gregory McMichaels has maintained that he pursued Arbery because he suspected him of stealing from a construction site. Special Agent Richard Dial of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation testified in court there are multiple videos showing the sequence of events that day. He said videos show that multiple people, not just Arbery, had entered the property to observe the construction in process, and that some children had taken pieces of wood, but Arbery hadn’t taken anything.
Agent Dial says that neither the McMichaels nor Bryan dialed 911 before pursuing the jogger. He describes Arbery trying multiple times to dodge the three men, but says that Bryan uses his truck to block Arbery, even ‘making contact’ between truck and runner at one point. It’s not until after Arbery is pinned between the two trucks that Greg McMichaels calls 911, Dial says.
Finally, he says, after Arbery had been shot three times, and was lying on the ground, Travis McMichael addresses the body with a racial slur, saying, “F***ing n******.”
Gregory McMichael, who reportedly told his son not to shoot — possibly, according to witnesses, after the first shot was already fired — worked in local law enforcement until his recent retirement. Isider reports that some believe this is why there were initially no arrests, until the video of the killing was leaked. He had previously faced discipline or dismissal for failing to complete required firearms and safety training, but was allowed to continue his employment.