Former police detective and retired district attorney investigator Gregory McMichael lost his law enforcement certification and power to arrest a year before slain Georgia man, Ahmaud Arbery, was shot and killed, the Washington Post reports.
According to court documents filed from the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, 64-year-old McMichael, who is currently facing murder charges in connection with the February shooting death of Arbery, lost his privileges after repeated training failures.
McMichael’s personnel documents also indicate that in January 2006, officials took away his power to arrest after an undisclosed infraction that occurred the previous year. Between 2005 and 2010, he failed to complete various types of training required to maintain his certification. During at least three of those years, McMichael failed to fulfill the requirements for use-of-force and firearms training.
“This situation has been a great embarrassment to me and to Investigator McMichael,” District Attorney Jackie Johnson, who was McMichael’s employer at the time, wrote in a June 2014 letter to the Georgia POST director. “It has negatively impacted my office, and I have taken measures to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Please accept my sincere apology.”
In 2006 and 2009, McMichael reportedly applied for a waiver, claiming that a host of health conditions prevented him completed all of the required training. In 2014, his waiver was granted.
By 2019, however, the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) issued another suspension order for McMichael after he failed to “maintain training for the year 2018.”
McMichael gave up his badge and gun, and signed a memo that indicated he wouldn’t “engage in any activity that would be construed as being law enforcement in nature,” the Post reports.
“To that end, Mr. McMichael will not carry a firearm or badge, nor will he operate any vehicle in the motor pool outfitted with lights, siren or police radio equipment,” the memo read.
Four months after the suspension, McMichael retired.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, followed 25-year-old Arbery on February 23 after allegedly spotting him running away from a construction home. They trailed Arbery in their truck before circling around the block in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, in an apparent attempt to block him from fleeing.
A little before 1:40 p.m., McMichael and his son stopped their truck on a residential road and waited. As Arbery approached and ran around the truck, a scuffle broke out. Travis McMichael, who had gotten out of the vehicle with a shotgun, began fighting with Arbery.
Gregory McMichael, who was standing in the bed of the truck with a .357 Magnum, later told police they brought their guns because they didn’t know at the time whether Arbery was armed. Reports indicated that Arbery was unarmed.
Arbery died at the scene after being shot twice in the chest by Travis McMichael’s shotgun.
At least two Georgia commissioners came forward in May and alleged that District Attorney Jackie Johnson’s office wouldn’t let the Glynn County Police Department arrest the suspects.
“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 AJC. “She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael.”
No arrests were made until Thursday, May 9, after the GBI launched its own investigation into the case. Both Greg and Travis McMichael have been arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Commissioner Peter Murphy also indicated that the DA Johnson 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.
Both suspects remain behind bars without bail. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Ahmaud Arbery/Handout; Greg and Travis McMichael/Facebook