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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.

Go deeper

Updated Jul 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Atlanta-area spa shooter sentenced to life without parole

The Gold Spa, one day after a gunman shot and killed eight people at three separate Atlanta spa locations. Photo: VIRGINIE KIPPELEN/AFP via Getty Images

Robert Aaron Long, 22, of Georgia, was sentenced Tuesday to life without parole after pleading guilty to murder and other charges related to a series of deadly spa shootings in Atlanta, AP reports.

The big picture: Cherokee County Superior Court Chief Judge Ellen McElyea accepted the plea deal, and Long was given four life sentences after a prosecutor said investigators found no evidence of racial bias.

Updated 11 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

2 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.