Lawyers for the family of Ahmaud Arbery say President Donald Trump is listening to their concerns after shocking footage showed two men gun down the unarmed black man in Georgia.
Attorneys Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump are representing the family and appeared on SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show on Wednesday. They say they are skeptical of South Georgia’s willingness to “dispense justice to the black community” in the case, but see Trump’s administration as willing to cooperate.
“I think we’re so close to an election, that they know, and if you listen to what Trump is saying, they know if they mess this one up, they can just count the black vote that they’re courting out,” Merritt said. “And so they are trying, and quite frankly, they are listening to the demands of black people. That’s why it’s important that we raise our voices at this moment.”
Trump called Arbery’s slaying a “horrible thing” on during a Monday press appearance. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has also said the administration grieves with Arbery’s family and will support whatever conclusion the evidence brings. (RELATED: Atlanta Mayor Lays Blame On White House For Ahmaud Arbery Shooting)
“I think it’s horrible and it’s certainly being looked at by many people – I’m speaking to many people about it,” Trump said at the White House. “He looked – I saw the picture of him in his tuxedo, it was so beautiful – I mean he looks like a wonderful young guy. I think it’s a horrible thing.”
Footage of the killing shows Arbery jogging down a street toward two armed white men standing beside the truck they had parked on the side of the road. It appears they were waiting for Arbery, and a struggle ensued when Arbery crossed their path. He was shot twice in the chest and died moments later. (RELATED: ‘They Should Die As Well’: Ahmaud Arbery’s Mother Wants The Death Penalty For Son’s Shooters)
The two men, Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, are a father-son pair who claimed they stopped Arbery on suspicion of burglary to make a citizens arrest. Their original report to police did not match what the footage showed, and they have been arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault.
Footage was also released of Arbery trespassing on a construction site on the day of the shooting, but the owner of the empty home said nothing had been damaged or stolen from the site, according to NBC News. The owner had also not reported a burglary.