ATLANTA - A group of protesters will travel from Atlanta to Brunswick, Georgia Saturday in support of Ahmaud Arbery's family.
The Just Georgia Coalition has organized what it is calling a "justice caravan." Organizers want to see district attorneys Jackie Johnson and George Barnhill resign over the "lack of investigation" into Arbery's killing.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has asked the GBI to look into how the Brunswick and Waycross D.A.s first handled the case before they recused themselves for "prior employment and/or familial relationships" with one of the arrested men.
Less than two weeks before Arbery was shot, Travis McMichael called 911 the night of Feb. 11 to report a possible trespasser inside a house under construction in his subdivision.
“We’ve had a string of burglaries,” Travis McMichael says on the 911 recording. “I was leaving the neighborhood and I just caught a guy running into a house being built two houses down from me.”
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot and killed while out jogging in a south Georgia neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020. (Photo provided by family members)
Asked for a description, he says: “It’s a black male, red shirt and white shorts.” Calling from inside his truck, he sounds out of breath. The 911 operator asks: “Are you OK?”
“Yeah, it just startled me,” Travis McMichael replied. “When I turned around and saw him and backed up, he reached into his pocket and ran into the house. So I don’t know if he’s armed or not. But he looked like, he was acting like he was. So be mindful of that.”
He said he had never seen the person in the neighborhood before.
Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael (Glynn County Sheriff's Office)
“But we’ve been having a lot of burglaries and break-ins around here,” Travis McMichael added. “I had a pistol stolen Jan. 1, actually.”
An attorney for the homeowner, Larry English, released security camera video showing a man walking briefly through the open-framed structure. It’s unknown if that man is Arbery.
Attorneys for Arbery’s family have said a man shown on security video inside the house-in-progress Feb. 23 was Arbery — and that the footage shows him committing no crimes. Arbery was killed a short time later.
That more than two months passed before the McMichaels were arrested, shortly after video of the shooting became public, caused many to draw parallels to other shootings of black men by white men in recent years.
According to an incident report by Glynn County police, Gregory McMichael, said he and his son armed themselves and chased Arbery in a pickup truck after seeing him run down their street. Gregory McMichael told police he suspected Arbery was a burglar, and said he attacked Travis McMichael before he was shot in a struggle over the gun.
Arbery’s mother told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she has confidence in the investigation now that the GBI has taken it over and a new independent prosecutor has been appointed. She said she would like prosecutors to seek the death penalty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.