Federal hate crime charges for 3 suspects in death of Ahmaud Arbery

Federal hate crime charges for 3 suspects in death of Ahmaud Arbery

The criminal case "is the most significant civil rights prosecution undertaken to date by the Biden administration Justice Department, "AP notes".

"Counts One and Two of the indictment allege that the defendants used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery's right to use a public street because of his race". It also alleges that all three chased Arbery "in an attempt to restrain [him], restrict his free movement, corral and detain him against his will, and prevent his escape".

Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper sued the three men, Glynn County, police and others exactly one year after he was shot and killed in a federal complaint narrating her son's death.

Arbery was seen in the viral video struggling with Travis McMichael before being fatally shot. "Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing-and in Travis's case, discharging-a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence", prosecutors explained.

They are awaiting a trial date on state murder charges. "That day three armed white men, Defendants Gregory McMichael, Travis McMicheael, and William Bryan - entrusted by local law enforcement to respond to recent trespasses in the area, and armed with a Police-Department-issued revolver and a 12-gauge shotgun - hunted Ahmaud down in their trucks".

"Roddie Bryan has committed no crime", Gough said in a statement.

During a bond hearing in November, prosecutors introduced evidence that Travis McMichael had used racist slurs in a text message and on social media.

At the time Arbery was killed, Georgia was one of just four US states without a hate crimes law.

The three men charged at the state level with allegedly murdering Ahmaud Arbery, 25, had their legal exposure compound on Wednesday, with federal prosecutors indicting them with hate crimes, attempt kidnapping and other offenses.

All three men had previously been arrested months after the shooting.

This combination of handout photos created on June 24, 2020 using booking photos released by the Glynn County Sheriff's Office in Georgia shows (from left) William Roderick Bryan, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said the state case remained a priority, and he commended "this positive development and the continued push to get answers for Ahmaud's family, community and our state".

Bryan's attorney also expressed disappointment in the Department of Justice's indictment.

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