Prosecutor challenges attacker to whether Arbery posed a threat

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Prosecutor challenges attacker to whether Arbery posed a threat

Brunswick, Ga. — A prosecutor’s cross-examination of Travis McMichael, the man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery, raised questions on Thursday about the defendant’s argument that Mr Arbery posed a threat to him, and of social media posts Revealed that Mr McMichael made up before the murder in which he described the suspects of the crime as “worms”.

The inquiry took place on the 10th and final day of testimony at the trial in the small coastal town of Brunswick, where hundreds of black campaigners and civil rights advocates gathered to support the family of Mr Arbery, a 25-year-old black man. who was killed in February 2020. Demonstrators also opposed an effort launched by one of the defense attorneys, Kevin Gough, to ban high-profile black activists from courtroom high-profile black activists, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson, who visited Mr Arbery’s family in the gallery. Appeared several times with members.

Mr McMichael, 35, was the only of three white men charged with taking the stand in the murder case. His lawyers have argued that he was fulfilling a “duty and responsibility” to his family and neighborhood by pursuing Mr Arbery, whom he believed to be a suspicious character in a neighborhood beset by concerns over property crime.

Defense lawyers argue that Mr McMichael, along with the other two men – Travis’s father, Gregory McMichael, 65, and his neighbor William Bryan, 52 – were a legal citizen under arrest and that Travis McMichael fired in self-defense. Work done. Mr. Arbery with a shotgun nearby.

Chief prosecutor Linda Dunnikowski began the investigation on Thursday by handing over a copy of his preliminary testimony to Mr McMichael to police. She proceeded to clear up several discrepancies in the various narratives of the way three men in a pair of pickup trucks chased Mr Arbery as he was fleeing his neighbourhood.

It opened a series of questions designed to raise doubts about whether Mr Arbery, who was unarmed, posed a legitimate threat. “Did Mr. Arbery get in his pocket?” she asked, and continued in the same vein: Did he scream? threaten you? Brandy Weapon? gun? Knife?

To each of these, Mr. McMichael did not answer.

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“He just ran?” He asked.

“Yes,” he replied.

On Wednesday, Mr. McMichael testified that Mr. Arbery had grabbed Mr. McMichael’s shotgun. But on Thursday, Ms Danikoski noted that she had previously told an investigator in an interview that she did not remember whether Mr Arbery had caught it.

McMichael’s lawyers have argued that his training, while he was in the US Coast Guard, gave him a working understanding of the concept of “probable cause” and that he had probable cause to believe that Mr Arbery was a thief, even though Only Mr. Arbery, who had visited a partially built house in the neighborhood several times, was never seen taking anything from it.

Ms Dunnikowski has argued that the three men had no “immediate knowledge” that a crime had been committed.

“Isn’t it true from your training that you need two parts of the probable cause?” he asked on Thursday. “You need probable cause that a crime has actually been committed – and the person you are arresting is actually the one who committed the crime.”

“That’s right,” replied Mr. McMichael.

Ms Dunnikowski also noted that Mr McMichael had made several statements about crime and vigilantism on social media. In an online post, on the topic of neighborhood crime, he said his father “doesn’t care about going to jail.” “Hell, I’m going down that road,” he said, and told a neighbor that he hoped the perpetrators of the crime he described would be caught, calling the perpetrators “worms.”

Outside the courthouse on Thursday afternoon, black pastors and others from across the country, including Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson, marched in the streets. When they arrived at a mural of Mr Arbery, his aunt, Diane Arbery Jackson, addressed the group and asked the marchers to keep praying for his family.

Defense attorneys also called on Thursday six residents of the Satilla Shores neighborhood where Mr Arbery was killed, each of whom described concerns about property crimes in the neighborhood, key to the lawyers’ broader argument that safety is not the case. At the time the community was “on the edge” cameras began to capture Mr. Arbery visiting the house under construction.

One of the witnesses, Sube Lawrence, testified that she felt “violated” by the crime. Through tears, she said that she was upset that her children were not able to grow up in the neighborhood where she grew up.

Earlier in the day, Ms Dunikoski asked the jury for permission to explain Mr Bryan’s argument that Mr McMichael used racist slurs after his confrontation with Mr Arbery. But before the judge could pronounce a verdict on the case, the defense rested its case, and Ms Dunnikowski denied her right to present disproving witnesses.

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