BRUNSWICK, Ga. - The third day of testimony concluded in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial. The State continued to call law enforcement officers to the stand Tuesday to lay out the first interactions they had with the defendants.
At times there were tense moments in the courtroom and a lot of objections as to what evidence will be allowed.
The State asked the first witness, Glynn County Police Officer Jeff Brandeberry, if Greg McMichael ever used the word burglary, trespass or citizens arrest.
Brandeberry said no.
Brandeberry wasn’t the first officer to the scene but said he heard the shooting call go out over the radio and went to the scene.
Brandeberry testified he was assigned to interview Greg McMichael once on scene after the shooting.
"I saw him yes. I saw him and to be honest if I would have gotten a shot I would have shot him myself because he was that violent, Brandeberry said while reading from transcripts.
The state asked the officer to read from transcripts from the body camera of the interaction he had with Greg McMichael.
Brandeberry described McMichael’s demeanor to be ‘pretty amped up’ said he was upset.
The officer also testified hearing Greg McMichael refer to Ahmaud Arbery as an "A*****e" while just standing just feet away from the dead body.
The state also called investigator Parker Marcy who read transcripts from his interaction with Greg McMichael while at the police station.
"He said stop you know I will blow your F***** head off or something. I was trying to convey that I was not playing," Investigator Parker Marcy said while reading a portion of the transcript.
Marcy testified that Greg McMichael thought Arbery could be responsible for recent crimes although he had no concrete proof.
Marcy read a statement where McMichael suspects Arbery could be the person who stole his son’s firearm. He claims to have made the assumption after seeing Arbery on camera around a nearby house.
Court resumes Wednesday morning at nine.
Several State Representatives released a statement regarding the jurors selected in the trial.
They’re upset that only one African American was chosen in the jury of 12.
See their full statement released below.
State Representatives Rhonda Burnough (D-Riverdale), Viola Davis (D-Stone Mountain), Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta) and Sandra Scott (D-Rex) today issued statements regarding the jury selection process for the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s death.
"Jim Crow era jurors sit for the trial of Ahmaud Arbery," said Rep. Scott. "Eleven white people and only one Black were chosen to serve as jurors. Will justice be served? For 72 days after Ahmaud’s death, the defendants were free skinning and grinning that they had killed an innocent Black man who was running through the neighborhood. They chased him and hunted him down as if he was an animal. In their own words to the 9-1-1 operator they said, ‘We got him trapped like a rat.’ Even in 2021, you would think that the prosecutor would want a fair and impartial jury. A jury that would hear all the evidence and make their decision based on the evidence and not the color of Ahmaud’s skin. We are watching every minute and every little detail presented to make sure this trial ends with justice for Ahmaud and his family. Georgia, let’s do the right thing. The world is watching."
"After a summer of protests against the injustice of George Floyd’s death, a conviction for his killer and a historic presidential election, it is hard to believe that a black man still cannot get a jury of his peers," said Rep. Burnough. "We still have a long way to go."
"Under the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, all men are created equal, and they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit to happiness," said Rep. Davis. "No mother should fear their male child ending up dead while jogging because of racial hatred. As veterans, we served our country to protect the rights of everyone under the Constitution and that included Ahmaud Arbery’s right to run in his neighborhood. The jury needs to remember that Ahmaud Arbery had a right to be left alone."
"Justice for Ahmaud will never be reduced to a simple chant," said Rep. Schofield. "This injustice and murder of a 25 year-old Black man who went out for a run can only be resolved by convicting his killers. The trial and intentional racial imbalance in the jury selection continues to confirm the inequities in the judicial system. The value of his life was reduced to the question, ‘Do you think Black lives matter?’ This is not only offensive, but it calls to question if justice will really be served for a life abruptly taken. The clear message that should be of top priority for the judge and jury is that Black lives have, do and always will matter."
What's known about Ahmaud Arbery's death
A police report from the Glynn County Police Department says a man and his son, frustrated by a string of burglaries and break-ins in their neighborhood, decided to take matters in their own hands.
The men saw Arbery running through the Satilla Shores subdivision and considered him suspicious, a report says. They armed themselves and pursued him. Gregory McMichael, who it was later discovered has ties to the Glynn County District Attorney's Office, told police that Arbery and Travis fought over his son’s shotgun and his son fired two shots, killing Arbery.
Information that unfolded after the incident revealed Arbery was unarmed.
It was later discovered a man named William "Roddie" Bryan allegedly joined the chase and eventually cut off Arbery's route before he was shot and killed.
No one was arrested or charged for months after the shooting occurred.
Suspects: Gregory and Travis McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan
Greg McMichael is a retired investigator for former Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson. He retired in 2019. Phone records introduced in court show he called Johnson and left her a voicemail after the shooting. Johnson said she recused her office from the case immediately because of its relationship with Greg McMichael.
The McMichaels’ attorneys' offered the explanation that their clients pursued Arbery because they suspected he was a burglar.
Security cameras had previously recorded Arbery entering a home under construction.
Attorneys for Travis McMichael shot Arbery while fearing for his life as they grappled over a shotgun.
Greg and Travis McMichael were arrested in May 2020, several months after the shooting took place after a GBI investigation concluded there was evidence for charges against them.
William "Roddie" Bryan followed the chase and recorded a video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery. Bryan was arrested weeks after the McMichaels.
This story was reported on from Atlanta.