*Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in Brunswick, GA, in the trial of three White men charged in the murder of African American jogger Ahmaud Arbery.
Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan face nine charges, which include malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment.
Sunday, February 23, 2020, while out on for a run in a Brunswick suburb, 25-year old Ahmaud Arbery was chased down in a pickup truck and shot by armed 67-year-old Gregory McMichael and his 35-year-old son, Travis. The video of the end of the chase and subsequent death of Arbery, revealed three months later, was recorded on the cellphone of 52-year-old neighbor William Bryan from his vehicle as he joined the chase.
According to Glynn County Superior Court Clerk Ronald Adams, it could take two weeks or longer to pick a jury of twelve men and women, plus four alternates, to hear this case. Nearly 1,000 people have been summoned for jury duty. 600 were told to report Monday morning, with another 400 on standby.
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If not for the Bryant video, authorities argue it’s unlikely this case would have reached a courtroom. The video will play a most prominent role as it shows the Black man jogging down a street, then blocked by the McMichaels truck, each man armed, one on the ground, the other in the vehicle.
As Arbery tried to run around, he was shot and killed. One Georgia Bureau of Intelligence official reported that after 35-year-old Travis McMichael shot Ahmaud, he called the dying man a “racist name.”
This case also points to the conspiracy to cover up the murder of Ahmaud Arbery by local authorities. Then-Glynn County District Attorney, Jackie Johnson, was charged with protecting her former colleague Greg McMichael, his son Travis and William Bryan. She was indicted in September on charges of violating her oath of office and hindering a law enforcement officer.
Beyond this trial, Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan also face federal charges. A grand jury indicted the men with federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. That trial is scheduled to begin February 2022.