Ahmaud Arbery was hit with a truck before he died, and his killer allegedly used a racial slur, according to an investigator
Gregory and Travis McMichael, the father and son who killed Ahmaud Arbery back in February have been charged with his murder.
Newly released footage shows them chasing him in a pickup truck as he ran down the street of their neighborhood.
After Travis fatally shot the man, a third man named William Bryan, who witnessed the scene has told investigators that he heard him using a racial slur after the deed, as per a testimony William gave on Thursday.
William told authorities that Travis said “f****** n*****” after shooting the man three times with his shotgun and before officers arrived on the scene.
GBI special agent Richard Dial, the head investigator in the case, was asked whether there is proof that McMichael has used the racial slur at any other time to which he responded, “Yes, sir, many times.”
The evidence was acquired through his Instagram posts and other messages on his phone, he said.
Travis, his Father Gregory, as as well as William all face murder charges in the death of the man who died on February 23.
Agent Dial talked about what authorities think happened in the moments leading up to Arbery’s killing.
He explained that Arbery, who was running in a street in Brunswick, Georgia, was chased down and boxed in multiple times by the vehicle that the father and son were in. The truck was driven by William.
Prosecutor Jesse Evans said Arbery “was chased, hunted down and ultimately executed.”
This new information confirms what we've know all along: Ahmaud Arbery's death was a racist lynching. https://t.co/NQM8UH8zk7
— ACLU (@ACLU) June 5, 2020
The opening testimony was crafted to dispute the version that the McMichaels shot Arbery in self-defense.
Eventually, the McMichaels’ lawyers asked agent Dial whether he believed their client was trying to defend himself against Arbery, to which he responded:
“I don’t believe it was self-defense by Mr. McMichael, I believe it was self-defense by Mr. Arbery.”
“I believe Mr. Arbery’s decision was to just try to get away, and when he felt like he could not escape, he chose to fight,” he added.
It would also seem the testimony of the investigator goes against claims William made through his attorney that he was not part of the crime but just a witness who captured the incident on his phone.
Ahmaud Arbery’s mother says “knowing what really happened in the final minutes of my son’s life was very shocking.”
Travis McMichael allegedly using a racial slur after shooting Arbery is “confirmation that Ahmaud was killed because of the color of his skin,” she said. pic.twitter.com/7UUdZjV7X9
— CNN (@CNN) June 5, 2020
According to agent Dial, William took part in the chase early on after he saw the father and son go after Arbery.
He said William was at home and shouted out to the two men who were in their vehicle “Do you got him?”
When his call was not answered, William went into his house for a short time, after which he went back and “cranks up his truck with the intention of assisting in the pursuit,” the agent said.
The footage shows Arbery trying to evade the truck a number of times, but it catches up and blocks his way.
Agent Dial said in the recording Travis is holding a weapon when he goes out of his truck. This is followed by a short confrontation in which Arbery is shot two times in the chest and one time in the wrist.
The charges against the father and son were brought forward ten weeks after the man’s death.
On May 7 the McMichaels were charged with aggravated assault and murder, just two days after GBI took the investigation into their own hands.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys alike spoke about the rare circumstance in which the hearing took place, with many people, including Glynn County Magistrate Judge Wallace E. Harrell, wearing protective masks to shield themselves against potential COVID-19 infections.
The hearing coincided with the massive protests currently taking place across the US following the death of George Floyd.
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