The investigation continues after the arrest of two white men for the murder of a young black man, said the chief of police of the American state of Georgia on Friday, while excluding to find out why he had took 74 days before questioning them. Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, were detained and charged Thursday night for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, 25 years old, killed on 23 February in Brunswick, in the south of the United States, with a long segregationist past.
The elements to accuse them of murder are “more than sufficient,” estimated at a press conference Vic Reynolds, the police chief of Georgia, whose services were seized on Tuesday evening of the file after the broadcast of a video which caused a great stir in the country.
At the same time, hundreds of demonstrators, their faces covered in masks to protect themselves from the new coronavirus, gathered in the city court to demand justice. “Is it illegal to be black and jog? “Could be read on one of the signs held up in the crowd.
Refusing to criticize the work done by local investigators during the two months following the tragedy, Mr. Reynolds noted, however, that “there were still things to do” when his men recovered the file. In 36 hours, his teams carried out the arrests, he said: “That says it all. “
The investigation has not been completed and further arrests are possible, he added. The man who filmed the scene is of particular interest to investigators. But the investigation will focus on the murder only, said Reynolds, ruling out why the police and local prosecutors didn't act faster.
According to the press, Gregory McMichael, a former retired police officer, has long worked as an investigator for the local prosecutor's office. The first two prosecutors in charge of the case recused themselves, but the second took several weeks to do so.
It was the broadcast on Tuesday, by the lawyer of the family of Ahmaud Arbery, of a video of the crime which relaunched the investigation. On this recording, the young man runs along a road. When he bypasses a white truck on which a man is standing, he is stopped by a second man who grabs him. We hear a shot, then a second.
According to the police report, Gregory McMichael claims to have thought that Ahmaud Arbery was an active burglar in the neighborhood “strutting around” in front of his house. He says he chased after him with his son and weapons, and that the confrontation went wrong. According to his family, the young man was just jogging and was the victim of a racist crime.
The images caused a shock wave and the mobilization of several personalities, including basketball star LeBron James and actress Zoë Kravitz. They are “very disturbing,” President Donald Trump also said in an interview with Fox on Friday. “It is a very disturbing situation. “
Georgia is one of the five states which do not envisage aggravating circumstances for the motivations of racial hatred, and several voices, in particular stars of American football, asked the federal justice to intervene.