NationalStacy M. Brown

Federal Hate Crimes Lodged Against Three in Ahmaud Arbery’s Death

Three Georgia men accused in the 2020 death of Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery now have also been charged with federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Having already been indicted on a series of state charges that include felony murder and aggravated assault, the three White men — Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. — were indicted for the federal charges Wednesday, the department announced.

Each was hit with one count of interference with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race and one count of attempted kidnapping. The McMichael duo also faces one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing a weapon.

Bryan, who recorded the shooting death of Arbery, is also charged with striking Arbery with his pickup truck.

“In addition to the hate-crime charges, Count Three alleges that all three defendants attempted to unlawfully seize and confine Arbery by chasing after him in their trucks in an attempt to restrain him, restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape,” the DOJ said in a news release detailing the charges.

Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was chased down by two trucks as he jogged on a public street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia, on Feb. 23, 2020.

The McMichaels used their vehicle to cut off Arbery’s route, all while yelling at him and threatening him with guns, the Justice Department said. After a brief altercation once the McMichaels exited the truck, Arbery was fatally shot.

Authorities identified Travis McMichael as the individual who shot Arbery.

The three men, each of whom has pleaded not guilty, said they attempted to stop Arbery because they suspected him in recent neighborhood thefts and trespassings.

The shooting sparked national outrage once the cellphone video of the incident went viral last May, when it was discovered that no charges had been filed in the case despite it being months after Arbery’s death.

Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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