LeBron James has spoken out on the death of Ahmaud Arbery and the video that purportedly shows a man and his adult son chase him down in a truck and fatally shoot him.
Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was killed on Feb. 23 in Brunswick, Georgia. Attorneys for Arbery’s family released a video on Tuesday alleging to show two white men in a pickup truck track him down and shoot him while he was jogging and unarmed on a residential street.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, have admitted to grabbing guns and pursuing Arbery as he jogged in their neighborhood, according to police records obtained by the Associated Press.
No arrests have been made more than two months after the fatal shooting. The release of the video on Tuesday created an outcry on social media and in Georgia as large crowd of demonstrators marched in the neighborhood where Arbery was killed.
James: ‘We’re literally hunted every day’
James weighed in Wednesday on Twitter.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 6, 2020
Prosecutor wants grand jury to decide
District attorney Thomas Durden said on Tuesday that he wants a grand jury to decide whether to press charges against the McMichaels.
“I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr. Arbery,” a statement from Durden released Tuesday reads.
With courts in Georgia closed until at least June 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that means the McMichaels could avoid prosecution for several more weeks.
Durden, who is the third district attorney on the case after conflicts of interest prompted two others to recuse themselves, did not offer an explanation as to why the McMichaels weren’t arrested on the day of the shooting.
Attorney: Alleged shooters claim citizen’s arrest
Lee Merritt, the attorney for Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper, told FirstCoast News that the McMichaels are claiming a citizen’s arrest statute in Georgia to justify the shooting.
According to police records obtained by AP, Gregory McMichael told police that they pursued Arbery because they believed he matched the description of someone accused of a recent break-in in the neighborhood.
“We have no reason to believe that either actor here, Travis or Gregory observed a crime,” Merritt told FirstCoast News.
“These men were vigilantes, they were a posse, and they performed a modern lynching in the middle of the day,” he told AP.
Father has ties to local police
Gregory McMichael has ties to the local law enforcement, having worked for several years for the Brunswick Police Department before working as an investigator in the town’s district attorney’s office, according to FirstCoast News.
According to police reports obtained by AP, Gregory McMichael claimed that Arbery “began to violently attack” his son when he got out of the truck holding his shotgun.
AP viewed the video and describes it as such:
“The runner crosses the road to pass the pickup on the passenger side, then crosses back in front of the truck. A gunshot sounds, and the video shows the runner grappling with a man in the street over what appears to be a shotgun or rifle. A second shot can be heard, and the runner can be seen punching the man. A third shot is fired at point-blank range. The runner staggers a few feet and falls face down.”
AP attempted to reach out to the McMichaels, but reports that a phone number of Gregory’s has been disconnected and that it couldn’t find an active listing for Travis.
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