Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Politics

One of the men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery checked his body for a gun, court hears

By Rich McKay and Jonathan Allen

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (Reuters) – One of the men who chased Ahmaud Arbery before he was fatally shot in a Brunswick, Georgia suburb in 2020, bloodied himself as he examined the Black jogger’s body, looking in vain for a weapon, a police officer told a court on Tuesday.

Gregory McMichael, 65 is one of three white men on trial for the murder of Arbery, 25, whom they say they suspected may have been fleeing a crime when they pursued him in vehicles, cornered him and shot him on a street in their mostly white neighborhood.

McMichael told police Arbery was moving fast through the neighborhood when he first spotted him, and “I’m talking about a dead run, he’s not jogging,” Glynn County Police officer Jeff Brandeberry told the court, reading from a transcript of a video recording from his body-worn camera.

McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, 35, and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment for their deadly pursuit of Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020. They face life in prison if convicted by the jury, composed of 11 white people and one Black person.

Prosecutors have said the men “assumed the worst” of Arbery as he ran through the Satilla Shores neighborhood just outside Brunswick, which had experienced some recent break-ins of cars.

After Arbery was trapped by the three men, he was seen on video reaching out for Travis McMichael’s shotgun. He was shot three times.

Brandeberry said he arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting and interviewed Greg McMichael, who had blood on his right hand.

The police officer testified that McMichael got the blood on himself because he moved Arbery’s arm as he lay prone on the ground after the shooting, to check him for a weapon.

“I didn’t know if he (Arbery) had a weapon or not,” Greg McMichael said, explaining why he touched the body, Brandeberry said.

Arbery was unarmed.

McMichael shouted at Arbery to stop from the truck as he ran, Brandeberry said.

“Stop, stop, stop, goddamn it,” McMichael said, according to the transcript Brandeberry read to the court.

The elder McMichael had been armed with a pistol he fetched after seeing Arbery run down the street, the officer said.

“I don’t take any chances,” McMichael, an ex-policeman, told police.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta and Jonathan Allen in Brunswick, Georgia; editing by Ross Colvin and Steve Orlofsky)

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