The officials are weighing the possibility of federal hate crime charges in the case of Ahmaud Arbery, said a spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday. Georgia’s attorney general has requested that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate the handling of this case.
A father and son killed Arbery after they pursued him while he jogged in their neighborhood in February. Greg and Travis McMichael were arrested on murder and aggravated assault 74 days later after the video surfaced of the encounter that left Arbery dead.
The video sparked outrage in the African American community. According to an interview with CNN, Attorney General Chris Carr said in a news release, “We are committed to a complete and transparent review of how the Ahmaud Arbery case was handled from the outset. 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 find those answers” (Andone, Barajas and Silverman 2020).
A new video has come to pass that shows Ahmaud Arbery inside a home that was under construction minutes before the shooting. The McMichaels made claims that they believed Arbery was robbing the house and were attempting to make a citizen’s arrest. Camera footage from a home across the street from the home under construction appeared to show Arbery going inside for a few minutes. The Arbery family countered that argument and stated that while he may have entered the house, he has not committed any crimes, and he did not take anything.
Attorney Alan Tucker told inside Edition Friday that he was responsible for releasing the footage, which showed his friends Gregory and Travis McMichael engaged in a fatal interaction with Arbery in Brunswick on February 23. “I really thought releasing the video would put the truth out to the public,” Tucker stated. If he [Arbery] had just froze and hadn’t done anything, then he wouldn’t have been shot.”
Allegedly, Brunswick DA Jackie Johnson blocked police from arresting a father and son accused of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery because one of them used to work in her office. Carr’s request to the DOJ includes an investigation of the “communications and discussions” between the first two district attorneys assigned to the case, both of whom have seen recused themselves.
Numerous Politicians, Activists, and celebrities have weighed in on the killing in recent days, including Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta Mayor. Bottoms told CNN that without the evidence revealed in the viral video; she did not believe that an arrest would have been made.
Bottoms stated in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” on Sunday, “I think had we not seen that video, I don’t believe that they would be charged. And it’s heartbreaking that it’s 2020, and this was a lynching of an African American man.”
The latest news is Joyette Holmes, the district attorney of the Cobb County Judicial Circuit and the first black woman to serve in that position, is taking over the case following the viral video. In a statement made on the Cobb County district attorney’s Facebook page, Holmes said, “Our office will immediately gather all materials related to the investigation thus far and continue to seek additional information to move this forward.” She also added, “We appreciate the confidence that Attorney General Carr has in our office’s ability to bring to light the justice that this case deserves.”