Yesterday, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations on suspicion of murder and aggravated assault related to the February 23rd killing of Ahmaud Arbery, 25. Prosecutors initially decided not to bring charges against the McMichaels. Public outrage over the decision to not arrest and prosecute the McMichaels spiked in recent days after an attorney (not currently representing anyone involved) leaked video footage that shows the shooting.
LUCID NOTE: Opinions on this case do not seem to be based on political affiliations. Because of that, we will not be sharing a Right/Left perspective, just the two prevailing opinions on the situation.
MODERN DAY LYNCHING
The current narrative is that Mr. Arbery was taking his regular jog through the neighborhood when he was chased down by two white men in a truck and shot dead because the McMichael’s profiled him. It is believed that prosecutors gave the McMichael’s a pass because Gregory McMichael served for years as a police officer and then as a detective for the District Attorney’s office.
This sentiment has been shared by prominent politicians and athletes. Presidential hopeful Joe Biden tweeted, “The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into this murder.” Basketball superstar LeBron James Tweeted, “We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can’t even go for a damn jog man! Like WTF man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!! I’m sorry Ahmaud (Rest in Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the…” Although he later clarified his remarks, prominent Conservative blogger, Matt Walsh, said that the situation was “clearcut first-degree murder and the killers should all get lethal injections.”
WAIT AND SEE
On the other side of the coin, some people are suspicious of what they feel is a rush to make this a racial issue. These individuals note that while the media feeds the notion that white people regularly make unprovoked attacks on African Americans, the data tends to tell a different story. In this case, the McMichael’s alleged that Mr. Arbery matched a person they have surveillance footage of committing burglaries in the neighborhood. Their goal was to detain Mr. Arbery until police arrived and they had no intention to kill him. According to the McMichael’s, Mr. Arbery assaulted Travis McMichael when the pair tried to stop and talk to Mr. Arbery. During the ensuing scuffle over the gun, Mr. Arbery was shot 3 times.
An individual who placed a call to the non-emergency number of the local police department, around the time of the altercation, can be heard describing someone fitting Mr. Arbery’s description, walking through an unfinished residential building site. That caller claims Mr. Arbery has been seen numerous times in the neighborhood acting suspiciously.
While it has no particular legal bearing on this situation, one of the District Attorneys that initially refused to prosecute the McMichael’s did note that Mr. Arbery has a criminal record that involves among other an indictment for attempting to bring a loaded firearm to a high school basketball game.