Georgia police thought they had enough probable cause to arrest two men for the shooting death of jogger Ahmad Arbery in February, but reportedly, the DA’s office ordered them not to.
AJC reports that two Glynn County commissioners revealed that District Attorney Jackie Johnson’s office wouldn’t let the Glynn County Police Department arrest suspect Greg McMichael or his son, Travis McMichael, immediately after Arbery was shot and killed on February 23.
“The police at the scene went to her, saying they were ready to arrest both of them. These were the police at the scene who had done the investigation,” Commissioner Allen Booker told the outlet. “She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Arbery was jogging in a neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia, when retired district attorney investigator Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, blocked him with their truck.
The truck stopped at Satilla Drive and Holmes Drive, according to the Glynn County Police Department. While Travis got out of the truck with a shotgun, he got into a scuffle with Arbery as the man tried to run around the vehicle.
Gregory McMichael shot at Arbery with a .357 magnum revolver while standing in the truck bed and later claimed Arbery had violently attacked his son. A shot from Travis McMichael’s shotgun struck Arbery in the abdomen.
A coroner pronounced Aubrey dead at the scene at 1:46 p.m.
Another man, identified as William Bryan, took a video of the shooting. According to defense attorney Ben Crump, Bryan was an accomplice who was helping the suspects.
No arrests were made until Thursday, May 9, after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation launched its own investigation into the case. Both Greg and Travis McMichael have been arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Along with Booker, Commissioner Peter Murphy also indicated that the DA refused to let police arrest the pair. Both Murphy and Booker said they spoke directly with the Glynn County Police Department.
“They were told not to make the arrest,” Murphy said.
Within days after Arbery’s death, Johnson recused herself from the case and has not made any public comments on the case.
Meanwhile, Greg and Travis McMichaels remain behind bars without bond.
“Probable cause was clear to our agents pretty quickly,” GBI Director Vic Reynolds said during a Friday morning press conference. “I’m very comfortable in telling you there’s more than sufficient probable cause in charging felony murder.”
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[Feature Photo: Ahmaud Arbery/Handout; Greg and Travis McMichael/Facebook]