Monday, May 16, 2022

Former Prosecutor in Ahmaud Arbery’s Death Faces Criminal Charges

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A grand jury indicted a former prosecutor in Georgia on Thursday, accusing her of “showing favor and affection” to one of many males now charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery and for steering law enforcement officials to not arrest one other suspect.

The prosecutor, Jackie Johnson, a former district lawyer in Glynn County, had recused herself from the case involving Mr. Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was confronted by three white males while jogging through their neighborhood.

The deadly encounter, which stoked national outrage, was recorded on a cellphone video by William Bryan, who filmed Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael fatally taking pictures Mr. Arbery. All three have been charged with murder.

Ms. Johnson is charged with “violation of oath of public officer” and “obstruction and hindering a law enforcement officer,” according to the indictment, which the state lawyer normal’s workplace launched on Thursday.

The indictment says Ms. Johnson failed “to treat Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity” by not disclosing that she had sought the help of one other district lawyer earlier than recommending that he take over the case. Ms. Johnson recused herself as a result of Gregory McMichael had labored in her workplace.

She additionally “knowingly and willfully” directed two Glynn County law enforcement officials to not arrest Travis McMichael, “contrary to the laws of said state,” the indictment mentioned.

“Our office is committed to ensuring those who are entrusted to serve are carrying out their duties ethically and honestly,” the state lawyer normal, Chris Carr, mentioned in an announcement, including that the state was persevering with to research Mr. Arbery’s case.

It is now being led by a fourth prosecutor, whom Mr. Carr appointed in May 2020.

George E. Barnhill of the Waycross Judicial Circuit, the district lawyer who changed Ms. Johnson, later stepped apart as a result of his son labored for Ms. Johnson. He suggested that the McMichaels have been protected by the state’s citizen’s arrest legislation and self-defense statutes and shouldn’t be held accountable for the killing.

The third prosecutor, from a smaller county workplace, was eliminated after the state lawyer normal decided he was not outfitted to deal with the sprawling case.

In February 2020, the McMichaels armed themselves with a shotgun and a handgun and chased Mr. Arbery in a pickup truck, later telling investigators they thought he seemed like a person suspected in a rash of break-ins in the realm.

As they adopted Mr. Arbery, they yelled, “Stop, stop, we want to talk to you,” in line with Gregory McMichael’s account in a police report. Mr. Arbery was fatally shot by Travis McMichael after Mr. McMichael obtained out of the truck, the authorities mentioned.

Ms. Johnson was voted out of office later that 12 months, largely on account of criticism over her dealing with of instances together with Mr. Arbery’s.

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