Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, is shot dead by a white father and son while out for a jog in a suburb of Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020.
On May 7, following the release of a video of the killing that spurred national attention from the media, civil rights groups, lawmakers, celebrities and, eventually, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault. William Bray, who filmed the shooting on his phone, was also arrested and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
In June, the three men were indicted by a grand jury on all nine counts, including malice murder, four counts felony murder, two counts aggregated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
Arbery, a former high school football player, reportedly jogged around the neighborhoods of Brunswick frequently, according to The New York Times. Gregory McMichael, a retired police officer and investigator for the local district attorney’s office, told police he saw Arbery running that day, and thought he looked like a suspect in a series of local break-ins. The father and son hopped in their white pickup truck, armed with a .357 Magnum and a shotgun, and pursued Arbery. Bryan also gave chase, the newspaper reports, and filmed the video that shows a struggle between Arbery and Travis McMichael, who fired three shots.
The video, released on May 5, 2020 by a lawyer for Arbery’s family, sparked outrage that no arrests had been made more than two months after the killing. The McMichaels claimed self defense and the first two prosecutors in the case recused themselves.
The shooting happened shortly before the deaths of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor by police during a failed no-knock raid in Louisville, Kentucky. All these incidents sparked widespread protests against police violence and racial injustice in the United States and around the globe.