The legal representation for black murdered jogger Ahmaud Arbery has responded after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution released footage that appears to show Ahmaud wandering into the garage of a home under construction before walking around the back of the house.
“Ahmaud’s actions were in no way a felony,” His legal team said in a statement. “Our office has reviewed the surveillance video which appears to show a person, believed to be Ahmaud Arbery, entering a property under construction. The individual remains on the property for under 3 minutes before continuing to jog down the road. This video is consistent with the evidence already known to us. Ahmaud Arbery was out for a jog.”
In the footage, Ahmaud is not seen removing anything from the construction site, nor did he cause any damage to the property. Under Georgia law, the young man posed no threat nor broke any laws by going into the unoccupied property.
The statement went on to say, “This video confirms that Mr. Arbery’s murder was not justified, and the actions of the men who pursued him and ambushed him were unjustified. We reiterate, Ahmaud Arbery did not take part in ANY felony, had no illegal substances in his system, was not armed yet was shot three times with a shotgun at close range.”
The GBI is currently reviewing this surveillance footage, as well as other key pieces of evidence in an effort to piece together the events of that fateful February afternoon following the arrests of Ahmaud’s murderers, 64-year-Gregory McMichael and his 34-year-old son Travis McMichael.
“We are using video to put the timeline together to fill in the blanks of what happened that afternoon,” GBI’s Deputy Director of investigations, Scott Dutton, confirmed to The AJC.
In a statement on Saturday following AJC’s release of the video in an article online, the GBI said, “We are indeed reviewing additional video footage and photographs as part of the active case. It is important to note that this footage was reviewed at the beginning of the GBI investigation and before the arrests of Gregory and Travis McMichael.”
The security video also shows a man across the street in overalls, seemingly watching Ahmaud. That bystander is believed to have called 911 to report Ahmaud lurking around the home. A second neighbor, too, reported the incident to the police.
New footage from inside the home has also since been released, further proving that Arbery did not commit a crime, his family lawyer said. The owners of the unoccupied home has also since released a statement, saying they had nothing to do with the fatal shooting.
Read the full statement below.
English Family Statement:
First, and most important, the English family — the homeowners — want Ahmaud Arbery’s parents to know that they are very sorry for the loss of their son and they are praying for them.
Second, it is crucial to understand that the English family — the homeowners — were not part of what the McMichaels did. The first accounts suggested a link between the McMichaels and the homeowners, but there is none. The English family had no relationship with the McMichaels and did not even know what had occurred until after Mr. Arbery’s death was reported to them.
After seeing Mr. Arbery’s photo in news reports, Larry English did not even think Mr. Arbery was the person that appears in this video. Even if it had been, however, Mr. English would never have sought a vigilante response, much less one resulting in a tragic death.