A US federal grand jury indicted the three Georgia men Wednesday charged with “federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping” in connection with the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
Arbery is the unarmed 25-year-old Black man whose name became a rallying cry during the 2020 protests against police brutality. On February 23, 2020, three white residents of Glynn Country, Georgia—Travis McMichael and his father Gregory, as well as William Bryan—pursued and fatally shot Arbery while he was jogging. The men had been deputized by the Glynn County Police Department.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested the McMichaels days after video footage surfaced showing the men following and cornering Arbery in pickup trucks. According to the initial police report, Gregory McMichael claimed that he believed Arbery to be a suspect following an alleged string of neighborhood break-ins.
Wednesday’s federal indictment officially charged all three men with one count of interference with Arbery’s right to use a public street “because of [his] race and color” and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels were also charged with one count each of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm. Travis McMichael was specifically charged with shooting Arbery.
In June, Cobb County then-District Attorney Joyette Holmes announced that a Georgia state grand jury indicted the three men on nine counts concerning the death of Arbery, from felony murder to false imprisonment. No trial date has been set for the state case. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the state’s first hate crime bill into law days later.
Arbery’s mother filed a lawsuit against the police department and Holmes on the first anniversary of his murder.
A Department of Justice press release indicates that the case was investigated by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.