The three white men on trial in Georgia for the death of Ahmaud Arbery they chased and attacked him because he was a “black man running down the street,” the lead prosecutor in this high-profile case said Monday in her closing statement.
Gregory McMichael, a 65-year-old retired police officer, his son Travis, 35, and the neighbor of both William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, face charges – including murder – for having shot in February 2020 against Arbery.
SIGHT: Trial of three white Americans begins for shooting death of black runner Ahmaud Arbery
A video of the shooting in the city of Brunswick, Georgia, against Arbery, 25, who was unarmed, went viral on social media and fueled protests against racism that emerged after the death of African-American George Floyd below the knee of a white cop in Minneapolis.
The defendants said they suspected Arbery was a thief who had been robbing their neighborhood and invoked a law then in effect in that southeastern US state that allowed ordinary citizens to make arrests.
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Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said they had no reason to detain Arbery nor did they tell her they were trying to arrest him as he jogged through the neighborhood.
“None of the defendants saw Mr. Arbery commit any crime that day.“, said. “They assumed that he must have committed a crime.”
The McMichaels and Bryans “made the decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery on the road because he was a black man running down the street,” he said.
Arbery was chased by the men in their trucks for five minutes until he was “caught like a rat,” Dunikoski said, using a description Gregory McMichael gave police.
The jury was shown a video of the McMichael following the young man and Bryan chasing them in turn in his vehicle while recording with his mobile phone.
In a moment, Arbery try to go around the truck of the McMichaels and Travis McMichael, who had gotten out of the vehicle, shoots him. Already wounded, the young man fights with his attacker before receiving a second shot.
The prosecutor assured that everything Arbery he did was flee from those who were pursuing him. “He was being attacked” and “fled from them for five minutes”, without even threatening them.
“They cannot argue self-defense,” assured.
The closing arguments of this case are presented only days after the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, in another very high-profile trial.
Rittenhouse, 18, killed two men in protests against racism and police brutality in Wisconsin last year. He claimed to have acted in self-defense and was acquitted of all charges on Friday.
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