Video of Georgia man's shooting death goes public as prosecutor calls for grand jury investigation

Shooting occurred in February, no arrests yet
Posted at 12:05 PM, May 06, 2020

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A Georgia prosecutor said Tuesday he wants a grand jury to consider criminal charges in the fatal shooting of a man who was chased by armed men who suspected him of being a burglar.

The announcement came the same day cellphone video purporting to show the shooting was posted online by an attorney for the slain man's mother.

Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was killed Feb. 23 in a neighborhood near the city of Brunswick. The video released Tuesday reportedly shows Arbery jogging on the side of the road. Two white men in a truck confront Arbery before a struggle ensues. Two gunshots are audible in the video.

Arbey died shortly thereafter. No one has been arrested or charged in the case, prompting an outcry by the local NAACP and others.

According to WJXT-TV , police claim the two white men in the video — a former police officer and his son — were following Arbery in their truck because they believed him to be a suspect in a recent string of robberies.

A police report claimed that Arbery began attacking the men before they shot him. The family disputes that claim.

"You've been wondering all this time, well what really happened. But because we know his character we knew what kind of young man he was," Thea Brooks, Arbery's aunt, told WJXT. "And we knew that he was humble, and we knew that he was mannerable and respectful. So when it happened it took us all off because that's not Ahmaud. The person they were trying to make him out to be."

Due to various conflicts of interest, the case has bounced between jurisdictions since the shooting occurred in February. The New York Times reports that the original Brunswick district attorney assigned to the case recused themselves because of one of the men who shot Arbery used to work as an investigator for the DA. A second attorney recused themselves because of ties to the Brunswick DA's office.

No charges have been filed yet in the case.

The release of the video prompted protests in Brunswick, as demonstrators called for justice for Arbery and his family.

WJXT-TV reports that among those who walked with protesters was Glynn County Sheriff E. Neal Jump.

"'I'm sad as a person. As the Sheriff of Glynn County I'm sad that that happened," he told WJXT.