Ahmaud Arbery’s shooter admitted he was not under any threat
Brunswick, J.A.; – The man who shot Ahmaud Arbery on Thursday testified that the 25-year-old black man’s behavior was suspicious when he stopped next to him in his pickup truck to ask him what he was doing in a Georgia coastal neighborhood.
Travis McMichael said neighbors pointed out that something had happened down the road and wanted to ask Arbery about it, but when he told Arbery the police were on their way to start Arbery.
In his testimony under cross-examination, McMichael acknowledged that Arbery had not in any way pulled a gun or threatened him and indicated several times that he did not want to talk to him.
When asked how many times he’s stopped by behind strangers in the neighborhood to ask them what they’re doing there, McMichael said never.
full coverage: Ahmed Arbery case
Attorney General Linda Donekowski pressed McMichael about why he did not include some details of his testimony Wednesday in his written statement to police, namely the part about telling Arbery police he was on his way.
Travis said he was “under pressure, nervous, scared” at the time of his interview with the police and “may have been skittish.”
“What were you nervous about?” asked Dunikoski.
“I just killed a man,” McMichael replied. “I had blood stained myself. It was the most traumatic event of my life.”
“You were nervous because you thought you were going to jail, right?” asked Dunikoski.
No. “I gave them a statement,” said McMichael.
It was McMichael’s second day to testify, a day after he told a jury that Arbery forced him to make a split-second “life or death” decision by attacking him and grabbing his rifle. McMichael’s testimony marked the first time any of the three white men accused of murder in Arbery’s death had spoken publicly about the murder.
Prosecutors maintained that there was no justification for McMichael and his father to arm themselves and stalk Arbery when he passed their Georgia home on February 23, 2020.
Testimony resumed Thursday as Reverend Al Sharpton planned to return to a rally with a large group of black ministers, after a defense attorney intensified his frustrations in the coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia when he said he didn’t want “more black pastors” sitting in a Glenn County courtroom with the Arbery family. .
Reverend Jesse Jackson once again joined the Arbery family in the courtroom on Thursday.
Attorney Kevin Goff asked a judge last week to remove Sharpton from court, saying the civil rights activist was trying to influence the jury, who is disproportionately white. The judge refused, later calling Gove’s comments “disparaging.”
The February 23, 2020 shooting deepened a national protest against racial injustice after a mobile phone video of Arbery’s death was leaked online two months later.
McMichael and his father, Greg McMichael, armed themselves and chased Arbery in a pickup truck after he drove past their home from a nearby house under construction. William “Rudy” Brian, a neighbor, joined the chase in his own van and recorded the video.
The McMichael family told police they suspected Arbery was a thief because security cameras recorded him multiple times in an unfinished house on their street.
Prosecutors say the men chased Arbery for five minutes and used their trucks to prevent him from fleeing their area before Travis McMichael shot him. They say there is no evidence that Arbery – who attended a technical college to study to become an electrician like his uncles – ever committed any crimes.
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