Ahmaud Arbery's Alleged Killers Indicted on Federal Hate-Crime Charges

Georgia men charged with hate crimes and attempted kidnapping of Ahmaud Arbery

Gregory McMichael, 65; his son, Travis McMichael, 35; and William "Roddie" Bryan, 51, were each charged with one count of interference with rights and with one count of attempted kidnapping, according to a Justice Department statement.

In the attempted kidnapping charge, prosecutors say: "Specifically, the three defendants chased Arbery through the neighborhood, using their trucks-and in the case of the McMichaels, firearms-in an attempt to restrain Arbery, restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape".

The McMichaels chased Arbery through a suburban neighborhood outside Brunswick, Ga., yelling at him, cutting off his jogging route with their truck and threatening him with guns. It also alleges that Bryan got into a truck and then chased Arbery, using the vehicle to block his path. The men never faced hate crime charges in Georgia, though, because the state notably did not have a hate crime law until June 2020 - more than three months after Arbery's death.

The incident garnered national interest after a cellphone video of the lethal altercation was released to the media.

Meanwhile, the McMichaels and Bryan are in jail without bond. A trial date has not yet been set for that case. Two of the three men - Gregory and Travis McMichael - claimed to be conducting a citizen's arrest and that they acted in self-defense.

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The DOJ accuses the three of using force "and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery's right to use a public street because of his race".

In pretrial court hearings in Georgia, prosecutors have presented evidence that racism may have played a role in the man's death.

"Mr. Bryan said that after the shooting took place before police arrival, while Mr. Arbery was on the ground, that he heard Travis McMichael make the statement, 'f--ing n--er, '" GBI agent Richard Dial testified.

"An avid runner, Ahmaud frequently jogged around his neighborhood and surroundings areas in Brunswick, Georgia, including Satilla Shores", Cooper's attorneys wrote in their complaint, before describing what made that day different. "The indictment also charges two of the men with separate counts of using firearms during that crime of violence", prosecutors announced.

The U.S. charged three white men in Georgia on Wednesday with federal hate crimes and the attempted kidnapping of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who died a year ago after they gunned him down while he was jogging through a suburban neighbourhood.

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