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Ahmaud Arbery case: DOJ announces federal hate crimes charges against 3 Georgia men

Three Georgia men accused of taking part in the roadisde slaying of Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020 have been indicted on federal hate crimes charges, according to the Justice Department.

Travis McMichael, 35, his 65-year-old father Gregory and William “Roddie” Bryan, 51, now face federal charges of interference with rights and attempted kidnapping.

The McMichaels face additional firearms charges.

From left to right, William "Roddie" Bryan, Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael

From left to right, William “Roddie” Bryan, Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael
(Reuters)

“In addition to the hate-crime charges, Count Three [of the indictment] alleges that all three defendants attempted to unlawfully seize and confine Arbery by chasing after him in their trucks in an attempt to restrain him, restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape,” the DOJ said in a statement.

Counts one and two allege that all three men used force and the threat of force to “intimidate and interfere with” Arbery’s right to use a public street.

Arbery was jogging in broad daylight in the Satilla Shores neighborhood when the McMichaels confronted him on Feb. 23, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

As he was out on his run, the McMichaels allegedly grabbed guns, hopped into a truck and chased him down the road. Bryan later joined the chase in another truck and allegedly used it to cut off Arbery’s escape.

AHMAUD ARBERY CASE: GEORGIA FATHER AND SON ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH MURDER

The older McMichael reportedly saw him jogging and called 911 to report “a Black man running down the street” and said he suspected the man was involved in recent burglaries. He called his son, and the pair armed themselves — then tracked Arbery down on the road, investigators said.

Smartphone video of the slaying showed a Black man jogging down a residential street before he encountered two White men and a pickup truck on the side of the road. He appeared to jog around their vehicle, into the shoulder. Bryan, who is also White, was recording the video.

But, as Arbery neared the front, a gunshot rang out and then he was seen struggling with a man holding a shotgun. They moved out of the frame, and another shot was heard. They came back into view, with a long-barreled gun held to the jogger’s midsection – and a third shot sounded off.

Moments later, he collapsed in the road.

Ahmaud Arbery

All three suspects are already facing a slew of state-level charges, including malice murder and felony murder.

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The McMichaels had previously said they suspected Arbery was a burglar.

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