Apr 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

3 men charged with hate crimes in death of Ahmaud Arbery

Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, stands in front of a painting of her son

Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, stands in front of a painting of her son after a candlelight vigil for Arbery at New Springfield Baptist Church on February 23, 2021 in Waynesboro, Georgia. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Three white men have been charged with federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping in connection to the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was shot and killed last year in Georgia, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

The big picture: Arbery's death is one of several that drove nationwide Black Lives Matter protests last summer, including demonstrations over the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

  • The criminal case "is the most significant civil rights prosecution undertaken to date by the Biden administration Justice Department," AP notes.

Details: Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan, were each charged with one count of interference with rights and one count of attempted kidnapping.

  • "Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing—and in Travis’s case, discharging—a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence," the Justice Department said.

Catch up quick: "All three defendants have also been charged in a separate state proceeding with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony," the DOj noted. A trial date in that case has not been scheduled.

  • The McMichaels on Feb. 23, 2020, armed themselves and pursued Arbery, who was out for his daily jog, after telling police officers they suspected he committed a burglary, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Go deeper: Ahmaud Arbery's mother files civil lawsuit against men charged in son's death

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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