Federal prosecutors have also charged the three men suspected of murdering black jogger Ahmaud Arbery for hate crimes and attempted kidnapping. Thats what the U.S. Department of Justice has announced.
The maximum penalty for the two hate crimes is life in federal prison. The accusations of kidnapping have a maximum imprisonment of 20 years.
Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was jogging near Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020 when he was chased and shot by three men.
Below is the recording of the murder of Arbery. Note: shocking images.
A grand jury has sued 65-year-old Gregory McMichael, his 35-year-old son Travis and 51-year-old William Bryan for violating Arberys civil rights and attempted kidnapping on the grounds of racist motives.
The three men are accused of using violence and threatening forcibly to “intimidate and disrupt” Arberys right to use a public street because of his race.
While Arbery was running on a public street in the Satilla Shores district of Brunswick, Georgia, says in the Ministrys statement, Travis and Gregory McMichael armed themselves with firearms, got in a car and chased him through the public streets of the neighborhood while shouted him, used their car to cut off his route and threatened him with firearms.
According to the federal prosecutors, this also led to Arberys death. Third suspect Bryan, who filmed Arberys murder, is accused of joining the chase and using his car to cut off Arberys route.
Travis and Gregory McMichael have also been accused of using, wearing and waving (and in the case of firing Travis) a firearm during a violent crime.
The three men are already being prosecuted in the state of Georgia for, among other things, murder, complicity in murder and serious assault. Murder is subject to a minimum sentence of life in Georgia, with or without a chance of parole.
The men have said theyre innocent. Their story is that they thought Arbery was a burglar and thats why they tried to stop him. The state procedure process is scheduled later this year, but a date has not yet been set.
The death of Arbery in 2020, like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, led to many protests and calls for reform of the US police.
The new federal charges against the three men have been cheered by Arberys family and their lawyer Ben Crump.
According to Crump, the charges are another step in the right direction. “This is an important milestone in Americas advance towards racial justice, and we applaud the Department of Justice for dealing with this horrific act for what it is—a purely evil, racially motivated hate crime,” he said in a statement to American media.