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Joe Biden calls for investigation of Ahmaud Arbery killing

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  • Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden called for an investigation into the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. 
  • Arbery, a black man, was shot and killed in a wealthy coastal Georgia town in February by two white neighbors. 
  • Relatives and friends have said the incident was racially motivated and are concerned with their inability to protest and organize due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • A video of the alleged incident has gone viral on Twitter. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former Vice President and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden called for an investigation into the killing of Ahmaud Arbery after a video of the incident emerged.

Abery, a 25-year-old from Brunswick, Georgia, was killed in February while jogging in a coastal town. He ran past Gregory McMichael who called to his son Travis McMichael before grabbing their guns and following Arbery in a truck. 

The elder McMichael is a former police officer and told police, he said the duo was acting in self-defense and believed Arbery was tied to several break-ins in the area. 

Video of the alleged incident shows a truck driving behind Arbery jogging, before stopping. One man gets out to confront Arbery, there’s an altercation, and two shots ring out.

 

In a tweet on Tuesday night, Biden wrote: “The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder.”

According to CNN, A Georgia district attorney is recommending that the case goes to a grand jury. The coronavirus pandemic has prevented courts from using a grand jury but Tom Durden, the district attorney for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit said: “he expects to present the case to the next available grand jury in Glynn County to consider whether charges are merited for those involved in Arbery’s death.”

The family of Arbery says he was unarmed and most likely jogging for exercise. The police report also did not indicate whether Arbery was armed or not. 

No charges have been brought against either of the McMichaels. 

McMichael said Arbery was in the property of a house that was partially opened but under construction. Georgia’s state’s citizen’s arrest law could justify the duo chasing Arbery because they suspected he was a criminal, George E. Barnhill, a prosecutor who previously worked the case before recusing himself over conflict of interest, said according to The New York Times. 

Barnhill said: “that he did not believe there was evidence of a crime, noting that Gregory McMichael and his son had been legally carrying their weapons under Georgia law.”

Additionally, he wrote that the McMichaels had “solid firsthand probable cause,” and were justified in chasing him because they thought he was a burglary suspect, under the state’s citizen’s arrest law, according to The Times.

S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Arbery family said: “at best” the men “had the authority to follow Arbery and send law enforcement to that location,” according to CNN. 

He added that the McMichaels were unable to answer the 911 dispatcher’s questions on what criminal activity Arbery was doing. 

Family and friends previously said they were concerned that social distancing, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, was limiting their ability to protest and gather attention to the case. Their concerns is that the killing was racially motivated. 

“We can’t do anything because of this corona stuff,” Wanda Cooper, Arbery’s mother told The Times. “We thought about walking out where the shooting occurred, just doing a little march, but we can’t be out right now.”

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