GBI arrests suspect in connection with social media threat to future Ahmaud Arbery protests

A social media post containing a threat to future protests related to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery is being investigated by the Georgia Department of Investigation.

"The GBI has been made aware of a Facebook post that contains a threat to future protests related to Ahmaud Arbery. We are actively investigating this situation and will provide pertinent updates as necessary," GBI officials released in a tweet Sunday.

Sunday evening, the GBI announced 20-year-old Rashawn Smith was arrested in Midway, Georgia in connection with the creation of a Facebook page to post the threats. 

Smith was charged with Dissemination of Information Relating to Terroristic Acts. Authorities said Smith created a Facebook User ID of an unwitting individual to post a hoax threat.

Rashawn Devonte Smith (Source: Liberty County Sheriff's Office)

The GBI also confirmed that agents are reviewing additional video as they work to piece together the minutes before the deadly shooting.

“We are indeed reviewing additional video footage and photographs as part of the active case,” the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which was asked to help investigate the case, said in a statement Saturday. “It is important to note that this footage was reviewed at the beginning of the GBI investigation and before the arrests of [suspects] Gregory and Travis McMichael.”

SEE ALSO: GBI reviewing additional video in death of south Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery

Arbery, 25, was killed on Feb. 23 along Satilla Drive near Holmes Drive in Glynn County, according to a police report obtained by FOX 5 Atlanta. His family said he was out for a Sunday afternoon jog.

Ahmaud Arbery (Photo provided by family members)

"Ahmaud wasn't shot in the home. He wasn't shot in the yard of a home. My son was chased and gun downed in the street, " the victim's mother, Wanda Cooper Jones said. 

Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested last week for the death of Arbery. Both are charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Gregory Johns McMichael, 64, (left) and Travis James McMichael, 34 (right). Source: Glynn County Sheriff's Office.


• Jogging for Ahaud Arbery

• Video: 911 calls in the Ahmaud Arbery shooting death

• Video: Father, son charged with death of south Georgia jogger

• DA says shooting deaths of south Georgia jogger was justified

• Judge denies bond for men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery

Both father and son were denied bond and were being held in the Glynn County jail.

According to an incident report filed by Glynn County police, Arbery was shot after the two men spotted him running in their neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon. Gregory McMichael told police that he and his adult son thought the runner matched the description of someone caught on a security camera committing a recent break-in in the neighborhood. They armed themselves with guns before getting in a truck to pursue him.

SEE ALSO: Break-ins reported months before Ahmaud Arbery's killing

The national spotlight had been shown on the case after a cellphone video surfaced reportedly showing the shooting death. 

Protests have already bee organized in Brunswick various cities in Georgia, including Atlanta, as well as across the country.

A rally and run were held in the Brunswick neighborhood where Ahmaud Arbery was killed on what would have been his 26th birthday on May 8, 2020. (FOX)

The GBI said the case remains open and under investigation. Anyone with information related to the case should contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477).

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