A federal grand jury indicted three men on hate crime charges in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who they believe was targeted “because of his race.”
According to ABC, the Department of Justice have also charged Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan with one count of interference of rights and attempted kidnapping. The father-son duo face an additional charge of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.
As REVOLT previously reported, Arbery was shot and killed by the McMichaels in February of last year as he went for a jog in his Georgia neighborhood.
The father and son believed he looked “suspicious” and desired to ask him about about a series of break-ins in the area. Gregory grabbed his gun and hopped in a white pick truck to confront him. As they talked, a struggle ensued as Arbery tried to get a hold of the firearm. He was shot in the process. Bryan reportedly filmed the entire incident on his cell phone.
Since the fatal shooting, all three suspects were arrested and charged for their alleged involvement. In June, a grand jury specifically indicted them on charges of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal contempt to commit a felony in the death of Arbery, to which they all have since pleaded not guilty.
Additionally, the suspects are embroiled in a legal battle with Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones. In February, she filed a $1 million civil rights lawsuit against the McMichaels and Bryan who she believes “were motivated to deprive Ahmaud Arbery of equal protection of the law and his rights by racial bias, animus, discrimination.” A few law enforcement officials and local prosecutors were also named in the lawsuit as she accused them of covering everything up, failing to prevent harm, excessive force and willful and wanton misconduct.
The McMichaels and Bryan will go to trial later this year.