The father of Ahmaud Arbery said “all I want to do is get justice for my son” on Wednesday, one day after a video emerged online that appeared to show the final moments before Arbery, 25, was fatally shot in February while out jogging in a southern Georgia town.
The video sparked a national outcry, including comments from Joe Biden — and from NBA star LeBron James, who asserted the killing was racially motivated.
“We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!” James wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), which has been asked to investigate the case, pledged to “bring to bear every resource and all the experience this agency has in resolving this matter.”
“Our goal in every investigation is to seek the truth,” GBI Director Vic Reynolds told reporters Wednesday. “And that’s exactly what we intend on doing in this matter. I realize that emotions are running high in this community and they’re running high throughout the state, and the last thing anyone wants to do is extend us any patience. But I also realize that this investigation must be done correctly and therefore I must ask for a little of your patience.”
“Our goal in every investigation is to seek the truth. And that’s exactly what we intend on doing in this matter.”
No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed since Arbery was killed Feb. 23 while on an afternoon run through a south Georgia neighborhood, according to FOX 5 Atlanta.
Reynolds said the GBI’s help was requested from Thomas Durden, a special prosecutor who was assigned to the case.
Arbery, a black man, was chased by two white men who said they thought he was a burglary suspect, The Washington Post reported. One of the men said he shot Arbery in self-defense after he attacked him.
On Tuesday, Durden said a grand jury will review the case and decide if charges are warranted.
Victim’s family speaks out
Meanwhile, Arbery’s family and their attorney spoke out Wednesday.
“All I want to do is get justice for my son,” Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery, said. “All I want to do is get justice for my son.”
The family denied Arbery was involved in a burglary.
The grand jury announcement came after an attorney for the family posted a video on social media Tuesday, allegedly showing the shooting.
“Mr. Arbery had not committed any crime and there was no reason for these men to believe they had the right to stop him with weapons or to use deadly force in furtherance of their unlawful attempted stop,” lawyer Lee Merritt wrote in a statement. “This is murder.”
The case has also received attention from the NAACP and multiple protests have popped up in the state.
Gregory McMichael, a former police detective and district attorney’s office investigator, told police he thought Arbery looked like a burglary suspect when he saw him running through his neighborhood outside Brunswick, Ga., according to the police report, the Post reported. He said he called his son and they armed themselves with a handgun and a shotgun and chased Arbery in their truck, shouting that they wanted to talk with him.
The only burglary reported in the neighborhood between the start of the year and when Arbery was killed was a handgun stolen from a truck parked in front of McMichael’s house, according to the Post.
Gregory McMichael said his son got out of the truck and Arbery attacked him, prompting Travis McMichael to fire two times, according to the report. A third man may have been involved.
Travis McMichael has said he was attempting to carry out a citizen’s arrest under Georgia state law.
Arbery fell on the ground and died of his wounds. He was unarmed, FOX 5 reported.
Attorneys for the family have argued McMichael and his son should be arrested before the grand jury convenes, according to FOX 5.
Grand juries in Georgia are temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus.
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