The three men involved in the death of Ahmaud Arbery are now facing federal hate crime charges, separate from the murder charges they each face at the state level.
On Wednesday afternoon, a federal grand jury indicted Gregory McMichael, 65; his son, Travis McMichael, 35; and William “Roddie” Bryan, 51, with a hate crime charge and a charge of attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels are also charged with using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
The federal grand jury alleged that the McMichaels, “did willfully, by force and threat of force, injure, intimidate, and interfere with Ahmaud Arbery, an African American man, because of Arbery’s race and color.” The indictment also alleges that Bryan got into a truck and then chased Arbery, using the vehicle to block his path.
Arbery, 25, was killed on Feb. 23, 2020, by three close-range shotgun blasts after the McMichaels chased him in a pickup truck as he was running through a suburban neighborhood of Brunswick, Ga. A video that captured the incident leaked in May 2020, sparking a national outcry
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Arbery’s family, praised the decision to indict the men in a statement.
“Today is yet another step in the right direction as we seek justice for Ahmaud Arbery and his grieving family by holding those responsible for his death accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Crump said. “This is an important milestone in America’s uphill march toward racial justice, and we applaud the Justice Department for treating this heinous act for what it is — a purely evil, racially motivated hate crime.”