Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has called for the Department of Justice to get involved in the Ahmaud Arbery case, which has already sparked national outrage.
“We are committed to a complete and transparent review of how the Ahmaud Arbery case was handled from the outset,” Carr said in a statement, the Washington Examiner reports. “The family, the community and the state of Georgia deserve answers, and we will work with others in law enforcement at the state and federal level to find those answers.”
Arbery, 25, was fatally shot in February when two Atlanta residents presumed him to be wanted for local burglaries. Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael reportedly saw Arbery running down the street and chased after him. An eventual interaction resulted in Arbery’s death.
“The McMichaels claimed at the time they were trying to conduct a citizen’s arrest,” the Washington Examiner reports.
Arbery’s death is believed to be racially motivated as he is Black and the McMichaels are White.
There was also no arrest at the time of the shooting incident. The Washington Examiner reports:
Two local commissioners on Friday accused District Attorney Jackie Johnson of barring the Glynn County Police Department from making the arrests immediately following the shooting. According to them, police at the scene “were ready to arrest” the McMichaels, but Johnson called them off before recusing herself from the case because the elder McMichael used to work in her office.
Another prosecutor was also recused due to potential conflicts of interest before the case was taken up by District Attorney Thomas Durden.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has formally requested that the Justice Department investigate the handling of the Ahmaud Arbery case. https://t.co/5EfvGdDSq4
— ABC News (@ABC) May 11, 2020
ABC News adds:
The request to the DOJ includes an investigation into the discussions between the offices of Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson and Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George E. Barnhill.
Johnson first recused herself from the Arbery investigation over a conflict of interest, saying in a letter that Gregory McMichael, 64, had retired as an investigator with the Brunswick District Attorney’s Office and had previously served as a Glynn County police officer.
Barnhill recused himself next.
So Carr wants Trump’s DOJ involved and is asking them to look into “communications and discussions by and between the Office of the District Attorney of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit and the Office of the District Attorney of the Waycross Judicial Circuit related to this case.”