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

Elias Hubbard
April 29, 2021

The criminal case charging the three men in connection with the death of Ahmaud Arbery is the most significant civil rights prosecution undertaken to date by the Biden administration Justice Department.

The Department of Justice alleged Wednesday that the men confronted Arbery "because of his race".

"In addition to the hate-crime charges, Count Three alleges that all three defendants attempted to unlawfully seize and confine Arbery by chasing after him in their trucks in an attempt to restrain him, restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape". Count One also alleges that the offense resulted in Arbery's death. Based on a "gut feeling" that Ahmaud was responsible for prior thefts in the neighborhood, these Defendants shot Ahmaud three times at close range with their shotgun and killed him.

Travis and Gregory McMichael also face charges of using guns to inflict violence. A trial date in that case has not been scheduled.

Arbery died during that encounter on February 23, 2020. They say Travis McMichael shot Arbery while fearing for his life as they grappled over a shotgun.

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

William "Roddie" Bryan, 51, who was driving behind them in a separate truck, filmed the shooting.

"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.

At the time Arbery was killed, Georgia was one of just four USA states without a hate crimes law.

Three Georgia men previously charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury and charged with hate crimes and attempted kidnapping.

A third man, William "Roddie" Bryan junior, reportedly joined the McMichaels in the chase.

Attorneys for Travis McMichael responded to the indictment in a statement criticizing the DOJ for believing in a "false narrative" invented by the media.

Bryan's attorney, Kevin Gough, told NPR that he is disappointed with the Justice Department's decision to pursue federal charges.

Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady, whose office is prosecuting the state case against the McMichaels and Bryan, had no comment on the federal charges.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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