Jun 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Judge rules all 3 defendants in shooting of Ahmaud Arbery will stand trial

I Run with Ahmaud t shirts

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A judge ruled on Thursday that all three men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was shot and killed in February Glynn County, Georgia, will stand trial, AP reports.

Why it matters: The video of Arbery's death was among several catalysts in the mass protests against racial injustice that have unfurled across the country and world over the past week and a half.

  • Gregory and Travis McMichael, two white men, were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault in May.
  • William Bryan Jr., who recorded the event, was also arrested in May on a felony murder charge and attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Details: The McMichaels pursued Arbery, who was out for his daily jog, after telling police they suspected that he had committed a burglary, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

  • An agent from the GBI testified at the probable cause hearing on Thursday that Bryan told police that Travis McMichael used a racial slur as he stood over Arbery's body after shooting him with a shotgun, according to AP.
  • The agent also testified that there is evidence that McMichael used racial slurs "numerous times" on social media and in text messages.

What they're saying:

"There's evidence of Mr. Bryan's racist attitude in his communications, and from that I extrapolate the reason why he made assumptions he did that day. He saw a man running down the road with a truck following him, and I believe he made certain assumptions that were, at least in part, based upon his racial bias."
— GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Dial, according to CNN

The big picture: Protesters have demanded the prosecutors involved in investigating Arbery's death resign after long delays in the arrests of the men involved. The Justice Department is investigating whether the shooting qualifies as a hate crime.

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