The Shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an Unarmed Black Man, Is Roiling Georgia

BRUNSWICK, GA—The killing of an unarmed black man at the hands of armed white men here has sparked outrage and drawn fresh attention to the state’s stand-your-ground law.

Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was running down a street in the city’s Satilla Shores neighborhood early in the afternoon of Feb. 23 when he caught the attention of Gregory McMichael. A former cop and investigator with the local district attorney’s office, McMichael was sitting in his son Travis’ front yard.

“Travis, the guy is running down the street, let’s go,” Gregory told his son, according to a police report obtained by The New York Times

The men, who are white, said they suspected Arbery, who is black, might be connected to recent thefts in their neighborhood. They grabbed weapons—a shotgun and a .357 magnum—and followed Arbery in Travis McMichael’s pickup truck, which bears the Gadsden flag and its “Don’t tread on me” motto. A neighbor, William Bryan, joined the McMichaels in pursuing Arbery, according to police.

Soon after, the trio confronted Arbery. According to Gregory McMichael’s account in the police report, Arbery turned toward Travis McMichael’s truck as he stopped and exited, and struck Travis. A video that circulated widely on Tuesday—and that Arbery’s aunt, Thea Brooks, said depicted her nephew—shows a black man and white man struggling both on and off-screen as shots ring out. But the video’s provenance, and whether it was the same footage shot by Bryan that was cited by a local prosecutor—who initially declined to press charges in connection with the shooting—was unclear.

“Travis fired a shot and then a second later there was a second shot,” the police report states. At least two shots struck Arbery, the Glynn County Coroner’s Office told The Daily Beast last week.

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