A former police officer in the United States and his son were on Thursday arrested and charged with murdering an unarmed African-American man in Georgia in February, Reuters reported. The arrest came more than two months after the incident took place and has led to outrage in the country.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and his 34-year-old son Travis were taken into custody by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and charged with aggravated assault and murder in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in the state’s Brunswick city.
Arbery was out running in Brunswick early in the afternoon of February 23 when the incident took place. McMichael saw Arbery and believed that he resembled the suspect in a series of local crimes. Then, he and his son armed themselves with a pistol and a shotgun and followed him in a pick-up truck.
McMichael told the police that Arbery attacked his son when they asked him to stop. Video footage of the incident, however, showed that McMichael’s son fired a shotgun at point blank range at Arbery and he fell down on the road.
The shooting drew a wave of anger from politicians and celebrities, including US presidential candidate Joe Biden and basketball star LeBron James. Biden said Arbery had been “shot down in cold blood” and “essentially lynched before our very eyes”.
“This family and the country deserves justice and they deserve it now,” he said, according to BBC. “They deserve a transparent investigation of this brutal murder. But our nation deserves it as well. We need to reckon with this, this goes on. These vicious acts call to mind the darkest chapters of our history.”