Georgia officials: Arrest made over online threat against Ahmaud Arbery protesters

Investigators in Georgia have arrested a man and charged him with making terroristic threats against protesters reacting to the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an African American man who was shot during a confrontation with two white men who later claimed they suspected him of burglary.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Sunday that it had arrested 20-year-old Rashawn Smith in Midway, Ga., after being made aware of a Facebook post Smith allegedly made "that contained a threat to future protests related to Ahmaud Arbery," according to the bureau.

"The GBI arrested Rashawn Smith, age 20, and charged him with Dissemination of Information Relating to Terroristic Acts. He was taken into custody in Midway, GA and will be booked into the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office," read the statement.


It wasn't clear what specific threat Smith is alleged to have made. Protests have rocked the state of Georgia for days after video of Arbery's shooting death went viral, particularly due to the lack of immediate arrests made following the February shooting.

Atlanta's mayor told CNN's "State of the Union" in an interview that rhetoric from President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE and other members of the Trump administration had led to a rising trend of acceptance of racism around the country.

“The rhetoric that we hear coming out of the White House in many ways, I think many who are prone to being racist are given permission to do it in an overt way in a way we wouldn't [otherwise] see in 2020,” Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) told the network.