Ahmaud Arbery was still alive when police in Georgia arrived after he was fatally shot, but officers did not immediately tend to him and showed little skepticism of the suspects’ accounts, newly released body camera videos show. The videos filed in court provide a comprehensive account of what happened after police and emergency medical technicians arrived at the site of the shooting, one of many killings of Black Americans to prompt outrage and accusations of racism, reports the Washington Post. Authorities waited months to make arrests, acting only after cellphone footage went viral online and drew comparisons to a lynching. Prosecutors say 25-year-old Arbery was jogging in a residential neighborhood when three white men, now charged with murder, chased and fatally shot him on Feb. 23. The men — a former local police detective, his son and a third man who filmed the encounter — said they pursued Arbery in their trucks, suspecting he was behind local break-ins.
All three have pleaded not guilty. A now-recused prosecutor defended their actions as part of a lawful “citizen’s arrest,” arguing that defendant Travis McMichael had grounds to use deadly force in self-defense. Cellphone footage shows Arbery jogging past McMichael and his father Greg McMichael’s truck, then struggling with Travis before being shot. Ben Crump, an attorney representing Arbery’s family, said the newly released footage “confirms what we had long suspected” about the man who filmed, William “Roddie” Bryan. “The footage clearly documents that Bryan used his truck to block Ahmaud from escaping the McMichaels,” Crump said.