On Thursday (June 4), a preliminary hearing took place to determine if probable cause was present in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, who was followed and fatally shot by father and son Travis and Gregory McMichael while out for a jog in Georgia back in February. During the hearing, Georgia investigator Richard Dial testified that Travis — who is accused of pulling the trigger — called Arbery a “fu*king ni**er” after killing him.
According to Dial, it was William Bryan who heard Travis use the slur. Bryan filmed the entire incident on his phone and was charged with criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment and felony murder last month. Dial, who is the Georgia Bureau of Investigation assistant special agent in charge of the case, said that Bryan heard Travis make the remark before police arrived on the scene.
Bryan’s video sparked outrage last month, as the McMichaels could be seen following Arbery in their car. After a struggle ensued between the men, Travis fatally shot Arbery three times. In the police report, Gregory had said they pursed Arbery believing him to be the suspect who was responsible for a series of neighborhood robberies.
Also in the report, Gregory said that Bryan had been involved in the chase and even “attempted to block” Arbery as he tried to run away. Gregory and Travis were arrested on May 7 and charged with charged with murder and aggravated assault. Bryan was arrested on May 21.
Thursday’s (June 4) preliminary hearing will determine whether probable cause can support the criminal charges against all three men. Since their arrests, Gregory, Travis and Bryan have all remained in the Glynn County Jail and have not entered their pleas in the case.
In a press conference earlier this week, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he would prepare for the hearing by instituting additional police presence in Brunswick, GA, in a response to the nationwide outcry against the killings of Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.