Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Ahmaud Arbery, Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it carried out a search warrant at the home of the father and his grown son who are charged in the killing of jogger Ahmaud Arbery outside Brunswick.
The search warrant was executed at about 6:39 p.m. Tuesday at the home of Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 64, the agency announced Wednesday.
The search warrant was part of the Arbery murder investigation, according to the agency.
No further details are being released at this time due to the active and ongoing case, the agency said.
It happened as NAACP leaders and others are calling for a broader investigation into what they call a history of injustices across Georgia.
They say Arbery's death is the latest example of someone being criminalized because of the color of their skin.
Arbery was African American, and the McMichaels are white.
“We want you to see the race of Ahmaud Arbery. We want you to see the blackness. And we want you to see when things like this happen over and over again, it's happening to black people,” said Lee Merritt, the attorney for Arbery’s family.
He made those statements Tuesday at a news conference in East Point.
This comes on the heels of a video from 2017 showing an encounter between law enforcement officers and Arbery in Brunswick. Authorities tried to search Arbery's car. He reportedly refused. Another officer can be seen approaching and attempting to stun Arbery with a taser, but the device malfunctioned.
Arbery was eventually let go.
Arbery was killed Feb. 23 after a pursuit by the McMichaels, who armed themselves and gave chase after seeing the 25-year-old black man running in their subdivision. More than two months passed before the McMichaels were jailed on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault.
A judge from outside Brunswick has been appointed to preside over trial proceedings of the McMichaels.
Court documents filed in Glynn County show that Superior Court Judge Timothy R. Walmsley was appointed to the case after all five judges in the legal circuit where Arbery was killed recused themselves.
Gregory McMichael worked as an investigator for the local district attorney for more than two decades before he retired last year.
Attorneys for Arbery's family and others have blamed the delay in arrests in part on the elder McMichael's ties to local law enforcement. The McMichaels weren't charged until after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was brought into the case in early May.
The delay in criminal charges and a cellphone video of the shooting leaked shortly before the May 7 arrests fueled national outrage over Arbery's death.
Last week, defense attorneys for the McMichaels cautioned against rushing to judgment. They said they soon plan to seek a preliminary hearing from a magistrate judge in Glynn County at which new details might be revealed. They also plan to ask that the McMichaels be released from jail on bond pending trial. That decision will now fall to Walmsley.
Meanwhile, three district attorneys have passed on prosecuting the case, which now resides with the district attorney of Cobb County in metro Atlanta.
Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, has said she believes her son was merely out jogging.
He is buried near Wayneboro, since many of his friends and family members live in the CSRA.