Two people may face charges after they stalked their neighbourhood looking for a suspected burglar and ended up shooting a black man who was jogging in the area.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, died on February 23 but, despite police knowing who killed him, after more than three months nobody has been arrested. He was shot dead in Brunswick, Georgia, and the case has led to outrage from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Gregory McMichael told police that he and his adult son Travis thought the young man matched someone caught on a security camera committing a recent break-in in the neighbourhood. So McMichael snr grabbed a handgun while his son got the shotgun, jumped in their truck and started chasing him through the streets.
McMichael told police they followed the running man and came to a stop beside him and shouted, ‘Stop, stop, we want to talk to you!’. He said his son, Travis McMichael, got out of the truck holding a shotgun, at which point Arbery attacked him, and Arbery got shot while wrestling for the gun, the police report said.
McMichael said his son got out of the truck and the running man ‘began to violently attack’ him and ‘the two men then started fighting over the shotgun,’ the police report said. Shots were fired from the shotgun and Arbery fell face down and died.
The police report says Gregory McMichael turned Arbery onto his back to see if he was armed – but the report doesn’t say whether he had a weapon or not.
Friends and relatives of Arbery have told news outlets they believe he was jogging through the Satilla Shores neighborhood just a few miles from his own home when the McMichaels chased him on a Sunday afternoon.
Prosecutor Tom Durden is bringing the case before a grand jury who will consider whether the gunman and his accomplice should be charged, but because of the current pandemic that is unlikely to happen any time soon.
Mr Durden said: ‘I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr Arbery.’
John Perry, local pastor and president of the local NAACP chapter, said he was disappointed the gunmen were still free.
He said: ‘It’s very problematic. To shoot and kill and not get arrested, it doesn’t compute.’
He added that he believes it’s ‘a case of outright murder.’ The Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group, has demanded the U.S. Justice Department investigate.