Three Georgia men charged with federal hate crimes over Ahmaud Arbery's death

Three men in Georgia were charged with federal hate crimes on Wednesday in connection with the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was fatally shot while jogging last year.

A federal grand jury has charged Travis McMichael; his father, Gregory McMichael; and William “Roddie” Bryan with one count of interference with rights and one count of attempted kidnapping, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael were also charged with one count of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

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Arbery was killed in February 2020, but video of the went viral after it was released in May 2020. The video showed Arbery running down a roadway from two vehicles and then struggling with a man over a shotgun.

An autopsy revealed that he was shot twice in the chest during the encounter.

In June, a grand jury in Georgia charged the McMichaels and Bryan with a total of nine counts of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

The McMichaels claimed that they thought Arbery was breaking into multiple homes, and Bryan joined in their pursuit.

The federal indictment accuses the men of using force and threatening to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street when they chased him through the street in Bryan’s truck, cut off his route and threatened him. The second count alleges that Bryan joined the chase and used his truck during the encounter.

The indictment also accuses the men of attempting to kidnap Arbery by chasing him down in an attempt to restrain him and prevent his escape. It further accuses Travis McMichael of discharging is .357 Magnum revolver.

Arbery’s killing gained national spotlight prior to the police killing of George Floyd but sparked its own movement.

The Georgia Senate passed a bill in late March limiting citizen’s arrest to police officers, security officers and business owners. Citizen’s arrest was cited in the case involving Arbery’s death.