Ahmaud Arbery's mother sues law enforcement officials, claiming cover-up of son's death

Ahmaud Arbery

Lawyers working on behalf of Ahmaud Arbery's mother filed a complaint in district court Tuesday that accused the Glynn County law enforcement officials of authorizing Arbery's suspected killers to act as law enforcement officers.

The lawsuit claims law enforcement officials in Glynn County attempted to cover-up the actions of retired Glynn County police officer Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and William Bryan after they shot Arbery dead on Feb. 23, 2020. 

The lawsuit claims police deputized Gregory McMichael to "stand in" as an officer and respond to neighborhood trespasses. The lawsuit also stated the court declined to meaningfully investigate the circumstances surrounding Arbery's murder.

Gregory McMichael (;eft), his son Travis McMichael and William Bryan (right).

Attorneys for the men charged with killing Arbery say the men suspected he was a burglar and committed no crimes.

The complaint names former Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson as a defendant, saying that she attempted to block McMichael from being arrested in the wake of Arbury's death.

The lawsuit also names former Glynn County Police Chief Jim Powell, officer Robert Rash, 10 unnamed police officers and Ware County District Attorney George Barnhill. 

Cooper and her lawyers are seeking more than $1 million in damages, according to the lawsuit.

The suit became public on the anniversary of Arbury's death. It took nearly three months for video of the killing to surface that showed Arbury cornered by pick-up trucks and shot by Gregory and Travis McMichael.

The public outrage and calls for changes in Georgia's citizen's arrest laws were manifested as legislation when Gov. Brian Kemp announced he would overhaul the citizen's arrest statute used as the defense for the men charged in Arbury's killing. 

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.