Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has formally requested that the Department of Justice helm the investigation into the handling of the Ahmaud Arbery case. Arbery is an African American man who was murdered by a white father and son while out jogging on February 23 near Brunswick, GA.
“We are committed to a complete and transparent review of how the Ahmaud Arbery case was handled from the outset,” said Carr in a press release. “The family, the community and the state of Georgia deserve answers, and we will work with others in law enforcement at the state and federal level to find those answers.”
Authorities waited over two months to arrest Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael. On May 5th, a graphic video surfaced showing a confrontation between the two men and Arbery that resulted in his murder. Public outrage at the lack of action from authorities and accusations of a racially motivated hate crime prompted the May 7 arrest. McMichael and his son have been charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Two prosecutors have recused themselves from the case so far, due to ties to Gregory McMichael. Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson recused herself, citing McMichael’s former position investigator in her office. Next, Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill, recused himself because his son worked in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit DA’s office and worked with Gregory McMichael on a prior case.
The case was then transferred to a third prosecutor at the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, but when the video of Arbery’s death surfaced the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it would be taking the case.
“I think had we not seen that video, I don’t believe that they would be charged,” stated Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “It’s heartbreaking that it’s 2020, and this was a lynching of an African-American man.”
Sources: Poltico 5/11/20; CNN 5/11/20