African-American man Ahmaud Marquez Arbery of Brunswick, Glynn County, Georgia, United States lost his life in the afternoon of February 23, 2020. He was 25.
That day, Arbery was jogging on Holmes Road just before entering its intersection with Satilla Drive in the Satilla Shores, a suburban subdivision near his home on the outskirts of Brunswick. Three break-ins or thefts were reported in that area from December 2019 to January 2020.
Arbery was spotted by two white men namely Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34. The father and son jumped into their white pickup truck and chased the African-American man.
Armed with a shotgun, Travis ambushed Arbery and shot him three times while Gregory, who was armed with a .357 Magnum revolver, stood nearby in the truck bed. On May 7, 2020, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation detained Gregory and Travis and charged them with felony murder and aggravated assault.
Gregory worked as a Glynn County Police Department officer from 1982 to 1989 and as an investigator for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office from 1995 to May 2019. Travis runs a company that gives custom boat tours.
According to Gregory, Arbery resembled the suspect in a series of break-ins in the Satilla Shores neighborhood. The former cop informed his son and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., 50, before pursuing the African-American man.
Bryan recorded the fatal shooting of Arbery using a cellphone from his vehicle. On May 21, 2020, the neighbor of the McMichaels was arrested and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
“They were profiling him, saying he’s a burglar,” NBC News quoted civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who is representing Arbery’s family, as saying. “The only thing they knew was that he was a young black man.”
- He was born on May 8, 1994 to Marcus Arbery and Wanda Cooper Jones.
- He loved to run.
- He dreamed of playing in the National Football League but he was only 5’10” so he was not tall enough for the pros.
- In 2012, he graduated from Brunswick High School, where he was a football standout as a linebacker.
- While studying in Brunswick High School, he was hired by Blue Beacon Truck Wash manager Jerry Wilson.
- He started started classes at South Georgia Technical College in fall 2012 to pursue a career as an electrician but quit in spring 2013.
- On December 3, 2013, he attempted to enter the basketball game between Brunswick High School and Glynn Academy at the Brunswick High School gym with a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun tucked in the waistband of his pants, The Brunwick News reported. He was charged with weapons possession at a school and obstructing an officer.
- On November 7, 2017, GCPD officer Michael Kanago attempted to use a Taser on him after questioning why he was sitting alone in 2001 gold Toyota Camry in Townsend Park in Brunswick and was suspected of marijuana possession, which was detailed in a police record.
- In December 2017, he was convicted of shoplifting a television from a Brunswick Walmart.
- In early 2018, the shoplifting charge prompted an investigation into his probation status by the Glynn County District Attorney’s office, which led to the revocation of his probation. The investigation was led by Gregory.
- He was recorded by security cameras stopping by a house under construction in Satilla Shores, which was owned by Larry English, but neither stole anything from the construction site nor caused damage to the property, his family’s legal team told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- He was wearing a bandanna, a white T-shirt, khaki shorts and grey athletic Nike sneakers when he was killed.
- He did not have drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death and an autopsy report showed that he had two gunshot wounds in his chest.