The prosecution in Ahmaud Arbery’s trial tries to cast doubt on the defense of “citizen arrest”



Prosecutors on Tuesday continued to try to separate the defense that the three white men on trial for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery were attempting to arrest a citizen.

Jeff Brandeberry, a Glynn County, Ga., Police patrol officer who responded to the scene, said Tuesday morning that Greg McMichael, one of three men charged with the fatal shooting, never said he was ‘he was trying to arrest a citizen at the scene.

Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski asked Brandeberry if McMichael had ever used words like “trespass” or “arrest” or said the men were trying to detain Arbery while they waited for officers to investigate him.

“Did he ever tell you while you were talking to him that he was trying to arrest a citizen?” ” she asked.

“Did he ever tell you, ‘Oh, we’re going to arrest this guy and wait for the police to come and investigate?’ »», She also asked.

“No, ma’am,” Brandeberry replied to both questions.

Travis McMichael, son of Greg McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan are also on trial. The McMichaels armed themselves and used Travis McMichael’s van to chase Arbery, 25, a black man, after spotting him running around their South Georgia neighborhood on February 23, 2020. Bryan joined the chase and recorded a cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery in the street three times at close range. The three were charged months later after the video was leaked online. The video sparked national outrage.

Defense lawyer Franklin Hogue and prosecutor Linda Dunikoski speak ahead of the trial of Greg McMichael, his son Travis and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, which begins Tuesday at the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia.Stephen B. Morton / Pool via AP

Defense attorneys said the men were justified in prosecuting and trying to detain Arbery because security cameras recorded him inside a nearby house under construction and they suspected he was a burglar.

Each defense team would have to argue that the men were carrying out a citizen arrest, which was then permitted by state law, a claim prosecutors tried to counteract with testimony from officers who spoke with the men. after the shooting.

The first police officer at the scene said Monday Bryan never told him they were attempting to carry out a citizen arrest.

Tuesday’s testimony was about an officer who spoke to Greg McMichael.

According to transcripts read in court Tuesday, McMichael said he entered his bedroom and obtained a .357 Magnum handgun even though he was unsure whether Arbery was armed.

“I don’t know if the guy is armed because the other night the guy put his hands in his pants,” McMichael said, according to the transcript.

“I’m not taking any chances,” he said, according to the transcript.

Brandeberry said McMichael told him he suspected Arbery of being a man seen on video breaking into a nearby house on “numerous occasions”.

According to the transcript, the man in the videos was seen entering the house, and “no one could ever catch him.”

McMichael later said in the transcript that the man “makes frequent trips around the neighborhood and gets caught on video cameras every three or four nights and no one has been able to catch him.”

Arbery was not armed.

Prosecutors also questioned Glynn County Police Detective Parker Marcy, who spoke to McMichael at police headquarters the same day.

The prosecution also asked Marcy if McMichael had ever used the word “arrest” or the phrase “citizen arrest” or if he had indicated why Arbery “was going to be arrested.”

“No, ma’am,” Marcy replied.

Marcy said that according to the transcript, McMichael said he was going to “detain” Arbery and call the police so they could come “check him out”.

Marcy also testified that McMichael said he armed himself with the “determining factor in my mind was that my son had a missing pistol” and that he suspected Arbery had stolen it, although he admitted that he had no proof.

“I’m pretty sure this guy, well, I don’t know for sure and I have no reason to think he did, other than the fact that this guy did this shit over and over and over. again, ”McMichael said. , according to the transcript.

Lawyers for the McMichaels have said Travis McMichael acted in self-defense when Arbery threw punches and attempted to grab his gun.


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