BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) – The man who shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery on Thursday testified that the 25-year-old black man’s demeanor brought him under suspicion when he pulled up beside him in his pickup truck. himself to ask what he was doing in a Georgia coastal neighborhood.
Travis McMichael said neighbors said something had happened on the street and he wanted to ask Arbery about it, but when he told Arbery that police were on the road Arbery started running away.
Testifying under cross-examination, McMichael admitted that Arbery did not draw his weapon or threaten him anyway and repeatedly indicated that he did not want to talk to him.
When asked how many times in the past he’d pulled up behind strangers in the neighborhood to ask what they were doing there, McMichael said never.
Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski pressed McMichael as to why he did not give some details of his testimony Wednesday in his statement to police, specifically the part he told the police. Arbery police are on their way.
Travis said he was “stressed, worried, scared” at the time of the police interview and was “probably choking.”
“What were you worried about?” Dunikoski asked.
“I just killed someone,” McMichael replied. “I shed my own blood. It was the most traumatic event of my life.”
“You were so nervous because you thought you were going to jail, weren’t you?” Dunikoski asked.
“No. I gave them a statement,” said McMichael.
It was McMichael’s second day of testimony, the day after he told the jury that Arbery forces him to make a “life and death” decision in a split second by attacking him and taking his shotgun. McMichael’s testimony marks the first time any of the three white men charged with murder in Arbery’s death have spoken out publicly about the murder.
Prosecutors argued that there was no reason for McMichael and his father to arm themselves and chase Arbery when he ran past their home in Georgia on February 23, 2020.
Testimony continued on Thursday as Father Al Sharpton was due to return for a rally with a large group of Black ministers, after a defense attorney growing frustration in the coastal Georgian community of Brunswick when he said he didn’t want “any more black pastors” sitting in the Glynn County courtroom with Arbery’s family.
Father Jesse Jackson once again joined the Arbery family in the courtroom on Thursday.
Attorney Kevin Gough asked the judge to remove Sharpton from court last week, saying the civil rights activist was trying to influence the jury, which is disproportionate white. The judge declined, and later called Gough’s remarks “reprehensible.”
The shooting on February 23, 2020 sparked a nationwide outcry over racial injustice after video of Arbery’s death on a mobile phone was leaked online two months later.
McMichael and his father, Greg McMichael, armed themselves and pursued Arbery in a pickup truck after he sped past their home from a nearby house under construction. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase in his own truck and recorded the video.
McMichaels told police they suspected Arbery as a thief because security cameras had captured him multiple times inside their unfinished house across the street.
Prosecutors said the men chased Arbery for five minutes and used their truck to stop him from fleeing their neighborhood before Travis McMichael shot him. They say there is no evidence that Arbery – who enrolled in a technical college to attend become an electrician like his uncles – committed any crime.
https://wgntv.com/news/arberys-shooter-admits-he-was-not-under-any-threat/ Arbery’s shooter admits he was not under any threat