GBI reviews additional video footage in Ahmaud Arbery case


The video appears to be from a home security camera installed in a house about a block from the shooting.

To exploreCoverage of the Ahmaud Arbery case, including the 2021 trial of his accused killers

A former Fulton County prosecutor who reviewed the video on Saturday said it did not appear to alter the criminal issues facing the two men arrested in the case.

Lawyers representing Arbery’s family said in a statement on Saturday that security camera video proves Arbery did nothing wrong before the fatal encounter: “Ahmaud Arbery did not participate in any crime, nor had no illegal substances in his system, was unarmed but was shot three times with a shotgun at close range.

Arbery’s family said he enjoys jogging in the area. One of the gunmen who confronted Arbery that day told police they pursued him because they believed he had been involved in previous burglaries in the neighborhood.

Video shows a man in a white shirt and shorts, who appears to be Arbery, 25, walking down Satilla Drive on Sunday afternoon. It shows the man entering the garage of a house under construction, then walking around the back of the house. The tape indicates that the man was at the construction site for less than five minutes, mostly out of view of the camera. He doesn’t seem to have taken anything from the house.

Shortly after the figure in shorts and a t-shirt enters the construction property, a man wearing what appears to be overalls is walking near a grove of trees in front of the site and the figure appears to be observing the construction site of construction.

A minute later, after a car passes, a figure that appears to be Arbery quickly emerges from a front door of the house and runs down the road towards Travis McMichael’s house on Satilla Drive.

McMichael, 34, and his father, Gregory McMichael, 64, were charged Thursday with murder and aggravated assault by the GBI.

Surveillance video appears to describe what a witness reported to police during a 911 call. At 1:08 p.m. that Sunday, the Glynn County 911 Center was notified that a man was in the house under construction.

The dispatcher replied, “And you said someone is breaking in there right now?

“No,” the caller said. “Everything is open, it’s under construction. And he’s running right now! He is going now.

“OK,” asked the dispatcher. “What is he doing?”

“He’s running down the street.

The dispatcher said she’d send the police.

Six minutes later, another caller called 911 to say, “There is a black man running down the street.

Security video shows a person, who appears to be Arbery, continuing on Satilla Drive. Former Fulton prosecutor Manny Arora, who viewed the video, said entering a construction site is not necessarily a crime. At most, it can be a misdemeanor unless something was caught, he said.

Georgia law permits the arrest of a citizen for a crime committed in their presence, said Arora, who is currently a criminal defense attorney in Atlanta. But a citizen can only use reasonable force to detain a person, and lethal force can only be used to prevent a crime by force or to defend oneself.

Since the McMichaels initiated the confrontation with arms, it will be difficult for them to claim self-defense and what appears on the security video does not justify their actions, he said. The footage also shows police were not far from the neighborhood when the incident happened, he said.

“If you throw an assault, you don’t get it so claim self-defense if the other person reacts to their assault,” Arora said. “Based on the information currently available to us, this video does not change the basis for the arrest.”

On the far outskirts of the video, two people can be seen around a van parked in a driveway a few houses away from the construction site. The driveway is at or near Travis McMichael’s house.

Gregory McMichael told police he was in the front yard when he saw “the burglary suspect ‘shooting ass’ on Satilla Drive”.

Gregory McMichael ran into the house to alert his son, Travis McMichael. The men armed themselves and pursued Arbery, according to police statement from Gregory McMichael.

The McMichaels told police they decided to arm themselves and pursue Arbery because they suspected him of committing burglaries in the Satilla Shores neighborhood. They also told police they had seen Arbery on previous surveillance tapes and feared he was armed because they said they saw him on another occasion sticking “his hand down his pants”.

Glynn County police records contain no recent reports of home burglaries in Satilla Shores. The only such report was a Jan. 1 theft of a handgun stolen from an unlocked truck parked at McMichael’s.

In the video, the truck, which looks like the one driven by the McMichaels, can be seen heading off in the same direction Arbery ran. The man in overalls walks down the street and seems to be heading for the truck.

Four minutes after the truck left, a police car is seen on the video driving in the same direction. A few minutes later, another cruiser passes, followed by an EMT truck, a fire truck with flashing lights, and more police cruisers speeding past.

A block away, out of sight of home surveillance video, the confrontation with the McMichaels had left Arbery dead on the sidewalk.

A video released Tuesday that has gone viral around the world shows Arbery running at a jogger’s pace on a neighborhood road. He slowed as Travis McMichael’s truck approached, blocking the street in front of him.

A struggle ensues as the McMichaels confront Arbery and three shots are fired. Arbery moves a few feet and collapses on the asphalt.

After the case was stalled for two and a half months as two prosecutors recused themselves over conflicting interests, the GBI arrested the father and son on Thursday afternoon after considering the case for less than two days.

GBI Director Vic Reynolds said Friday his agency received the case Tuesday evening and began investigating Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon, officers had concluded they had enough evidence to charge the two men.

“I can tell you there was more than enough probable cause in this case,” he said. Both men are in the Glynn County Jail after a judge refused to release them on bail on Friday afternoon.


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