Three Georgia men were charged Wednesday with violating federal hate crime laws in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.
Travis and Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan were each charged with one count of interference of rights and one count of attempted kidnapping, the Justice Department announced. Both McMichaels were charged with one count of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Travis McMichael was also charged with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
Three Georgia Men Charged with Federal Hate Crimes and Attempted Kidnapping in Connection with the Death of Ahmaud Arberyhttps://t.co/qGOmwCRfSj
— DOJ Civil Rights (@CivilRights) April 28, 2021
All three men were indicted by a Georgia grand jury for murder in Arbery’s death in June 2020, after a special prosecutor and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case. Gregory McMichael was formerly an investigator for the Brunswick, Georgia’s District Attorney’s office, creating a conflict of interest.
The federal indictment alleges that the three men “willfully, by force and threat of force, injure, intimidate, and interfere with Ahmaud Arbery, an African American man, because of Arbery’s race and color, and because he was and had been enjoying a facility provided and administered by a state and subdivision thereof.” (RELATED: Justice Department Considering Whether To Pursue Hate Crime Charges In Ahmaud Arbery Murder Case)
Bryan’s attorney argued that he was a bystander and was not involved in the shooting.