Monday, November 29, 2021

Shooter testifies that Ahmed Arbery never threatened him

Brunswick, Ga. (NWN) – The man who killed Ahmaud Arbery Testified Thursday that Arbery did not speak, show a weapon, or threaten him before lifting his gun and pointing it at the 25-year-old black man.

Under cross-examination by prosecutors on the second day of testimony, Travis McMichael said he was “under the impression” that Arbery might be a threat as he was running straight at him and had seen Arbery try to get into the truck. was doing. Neighbors who had joined Arbery’s search in his coastal Georgia neighborhood.

“What he has done is run away from you,” prosecutor Linda Dunnikowski said. “And you took out a gun and pointed it at it.”

A February 23, 2020, cellphone video, shooting – replayed in court on Thursday – shows Arbery running behind McMichael’s pickup truck, when McMichael stands next to the previously opened driver’s door and points the shotgun. Arbery runs around the passenger side as McMichael advances and the two come face to face. The truck blocks any view of them until the first shot.

McMichael’s testimony Wednesday The murder charge marked the first time any of three white men Arbery’s death is publicly talked about in the murder. He said Arbery forced him to make a “life-or-death” decision by attacking him and grabbing his shotgun.

Danikowski said Thursday that McMichael did not tell police in an interview two hours after the shooting.

“So you didn’t shoot him because he grabbed the barrel of your shotgun,” said Dunnikowski. “You shot him because he came around that corner and you were right there and you pulled the trigger immediately.”

“No, I was killed,” replied McMichael. “We were face to face, I was being killed and then I shot.”

McMichael said he had contacted Arbery after neighbors indicated that something had happened down the road and wanted to ask Arbery about it. Arbery was running in the Brunswick neighborhood at the time. He said Arbery stopped, then stopped running when McMichael told him the police were on the way.

When asked how many times he had previously pulled up behind strangers in the neighborhood to ask him what they were doing there, McMichael said no.

“You know how nobody needs to talk to anyone they don’t want to talk to, right?” Dunnikowski said.

Prosecutors also pressured McMichael to explain why he didn’t include some details of his testimony Wednesday in his written statement to police, namely that Arbery police were on their way to tell him.

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McMichael said he was “tense, nervous, scared” and “probably in agony” at the time of his police interview.

“What were you worried about?” Dunnikowski asked.

“I just killed a man,” replied McMichael. “There was blood on me. It was the most painful event of my life.”

“You were nervous because you thought you were going to jail, right?” Dunnikowski asked.

“No. I made a statement to them,” McMichael said.

McMichael and his father, Greg McMichael, armed themselves and followed Arbery in a pickup truck when he fled his home under construction. A neighbor, William “Roddy” Bryan, joined the chase in his own truck and recorded the cellphone video. Arbery’s murder deepened national outrage over racial injustice after video of his death leaked online.

Hundreds of pastors gathered outside the Glynn County Courthouse on Thursday In response to a defense attorney’s bid to keep black ministers out of the courtroom.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson joins Arbery’s family again in the courtroom, even as Brian Attorney Kevin Gough renews his request to keep clergy like Jackson out. The issue was brought up outside the presence of the jury, and Judge Timothy Walmsley declined to take it up again, noting that he had already rejected the same motion twice.

“The position of the court is already on record,” Walmsley said.

Gough first asked the judge last week to remove Rev. Al Sharpton from court, saying civil rights activists were trying to influence the jury, which is disproportionately white. The judge later called Gough’s remarks “reprehensible.”

Prosecutors argue that there was no justification for McMichael and his father to arm themselves and pursue Arbery when he fled his Georgia home. The McMichaels told police they suspected Arbery was a burglar because security cameras had recorded him several times in their unfinished house across the street.

Prosecutors say the men chased Arbery for five minutes and used their trucks to stop him from fleeing their neighborhood before shooting Travis McMichael. They say there is no evidence that Arbery – who, like his uncle, had attended a technical college to become an electrician – committed any crime.

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