The family of a Georgia man, who was chased, shot and killed while jogging more than two months ago, is calling for justice.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was jogging in a Brunswick neighbourhood on February 23 when a man and his son chased him down.
The shooters, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his 34-year-old son, Travis McMichael told police later that they thought he looked like the suspect in a series of recent break-ins in the area.
Wanda Cooper, Arbery's mother said that she was feeling discouraged. Adding that the tragedy happened back in February and there still was no arrest.
Cooper also told CNN on Sunday that when police notified her of her son's death, she was told that he was involved in a burglary and that there was a confrontation between him and the homeowner, and a struggle over a gun.
Ms Cooper said that her son was not armed. Adding that she never worried about him jogging because he wasn't bothering anyone.
There have been no charges against the father a former police officer and his son.The Glynn County Police Department said in statement last month that the investigation was ongoing and that they were continuing to gather and provide information to the District Attorney's Office that the case has been assigned to.
There were 911 calls that came in during Arbery’s jog.Reports say that one caller claimed that they saw someone who was wearing clothing that matched Arbery's, looking inside a house that was under construction. The dispatcher asked if the person was breaking into the home, to which the caller responded, “No, it’s all open, it’s under construction. And he’s running right now. There he goes right now.”
Two district attorneys have recused themselves over possible conflicts of interest, one of whom wrote that Travis McMichael acted out of self-defence and their actions fell within Georgia's citizen arrest laws.
The state of Georgia allows people to make citizen’s arrests. To make a citizen’s arrest, a person must witness a crime being committed and detain the suspect until the police reach the scene. The McMichaels did not witness Arbery committing a crime, stating only that he looked like a potential suspect. Attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the family said that the decision to rely on the citizen's arrest statute is really a recent invention, adding prior to that the McMichael's had simply said it was self-defence.
"According to that law, you actually have to be observing the crime or be in the immediate knowledge of the crime," Merritt said.
"The only thing they have ever said is ... that Ahmaud stopped by a house that was under construction and he looked through the window. We don't know if that happened or not, but even if that did happen that is not a felony that would invoke the citizen's arrest statute that would make this allowable."
The family fears Arbery's murder will slip through the cracks, as America focuses on the Covid-19 pandemic that's locked down the country said Merritt.
Arbery was a former high school football player and was a health enthusiast who jogged regularly, his family said.
Authorities have not linked Arbery to the burglaries in the neighbourhood cited by Gregory McMichael.