There appeared to be further confirmation that the white man who shot and killed a Black jogger in Georgia in what has been described as a modern-day lynching is a raging racist, according to testimony at his bond hearing on Thursday.
Travis McMichael, who, along with his father and their friend allegedly racially profiled Ahmaud Arbery before arming themselves and hunting him down with the intent to kill him under false pretenses, was described as a raging racist by the defense’s witnesses as well as the prosecution in court in Brunswick, Georgia. The “best friend” of McMichael — Zachary Lincoln — admitted under oath that the two of them “exchanged text messages littered with racist tropes and ugly stereotypes about African-Americans and Asians,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But civil rights attorney Lee Merritt was live-tweeting the court proceeding and filled in the blanks for people who were unable to watch the bond hearing being streamed live online. Merritt tweeted that the contents of the text thread in question referred to “slant eye fucks” and “crackhead gold-teeth wearing” Black people. The revelation was the latest evidence that McMichael likely had racist motivations in ging after Arbery, who was 25 when he was confronted by McMichel’s father Gregory, their friend William “Roddie” Bryan and Travis McMichael in February.
Bryan, whose bond has already been denied, played a major role in Arbery’s death as he filmed the deadly episode before “leaking” the footage to the media in hopes of availing himself of any wrongdoing. Instead, he was also arrested and charged with Arbery’s murder. That was seemingly the only thing that prompted Bryan told investigators that Travis McMichael called Arbery a “fucking nigger” after shooting the jogger three times at close range with a shotgun.
The bond hearing was scheduled to continue Friday, but the prosecution was able to all but establish Travis McMichael as a potential flight risk because of his survival skills in the wilderness and the unanswered question of how he and his co-defendants — none of whom are employed — were able to retain what Merritt referred to as ” some of the highest priced attorneys in the state of Georgia.”
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, also took the stand and testified that McMichaels’ bond should be denied.
“Mothers protect their children. I wasn’t given the opportunity to protect my son,” she said in court. “These men are as dangerous today as they were on Feb. 23 (the day her son was killed).”
Defense attorneys have maintained that there is no evidence of racial animus and that Arbery was not only jogging that fateful day.
Arbery was out for one of his routine jogs in Brunswick on the afternoon of Feb. 23 when he was racially profiled by the McMichaels, who suspected him without proof of being a burglar. The two of them grabbed their guns, jumped in a pickup truck and drove after Arbery before pulling in front of him. Bryan’s vehicle trailed the McMichaels’ and, while filming the whole thing, he used his truck to trap Arbery in between the two vehicles. As Arbery tried to run past the McMichaels’ truck, Travis McMichael got out and shot him in broad daylight in the middle of a road.
The McMichaels were finally arrested on May 7, nearly three months after they killed Arbery. Bryan was arrested two weeks later. All three were indicted by a grand jury last month on malice and felony murder charges as well as aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
This is America.
A Disturbing Timeline Of Ahmaud Arbery's Killing And Investigation In Georgia
1. October 20191 of 32
2. November 2019
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This video is from 11/17. Larry English called 911 on 11/18 and said he had a problem with "other people" the night before. This appears to show that day and is from English's attorney. There is no record of neighbors calling 911 this day, based off records from Glynn Co 911 pic.twitter.com/BXlyYEaBcL— Wright Gazaway (@WrightKATU) May 15, 2020
3. Dec. 20, 2019
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Police told the homeowner where #AhmaudArbery was last seen to contact Greg McMichael if his cameras caught someone on his property. McMichael in turn gathered a posse & began hunting for Ahmaud, or someone who fit his description, catching up with him on 2/23/20– killing him. pic.twitter.com/BmlmW636f5— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 16, 2020
4. Dec. 20, 2019
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This is the man that set the plan in motion that led to the murder of #AhmaudArbery.— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 18, 2020
ROBERT RASH is a Glynn County Police Officer.
He instructed a homeowner to contact Gregory McMichael to deal w/ trespassers.
McMichael and his son formed a posse and murdered Ahmaud Arbery. pic.twitter.com/ZqZg567Agp
5. Feb. 11, 2020
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Larry English’s attorney gave me this video from Feb 11. It shows the incident outlined in my story when Travis McMichael called 911 and saw someone in the home. On 2/23, he and his father thought the Abrery was who they saw on the 11th pic.twitter.com/C2gVJCJ3xQ— Wright Gazaway (@WrightKATU) May 14, 2020
6. Feb. 23Source:Getty 6 of 32
7. Feb. 27, 2020
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This is the DA who blocked the arrest of 2 white supremacist TERRORISTS after they murdered an innocent black man execution style while he was jogging in his neighborhood— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) May 9, 2020
JACKIE JOHNSON NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR OBSTRUCTING & ENDANGERING THE LIVES OF BLACK MEN
ARREST HER pic.twitter.com/ngSIEGMCq1
8. Feb. 27, 20208 of 32
9. Feb. 29, 2020Source:Getty 9 of 32
10. March 2020
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If you’re wondering why no charges were initially filed on the murderers of #AhmaudArbery, it’s because D.A. George Barnhill immediately concluded Arbery was a criminal & that he attacked the men who were hunting him.— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) May 7, 2020
This is letter Barnhill sent to the Brunswick authorities pic.twitter.com/vsGCboful7
11. April 2, 2020
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Police report sheds more light on Satilla Shores shooting https://t.co/Zi6YVGTkhK— The Brunswick News (@Brunswick_News) April 2, 2020
12. April 3, 202012 of 32
13. April 13
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This is District Attorney, Tom Durden, who suggested taking the murder of an innocent black man to a grand jury! Oh btw this the same DA who had the video already for a MONTH and who was arrested for a DUI 2 years ago, let’s make sure he does his JOB!!! #JusticeForAhmaudArbery pic.twitter.com/UuXdlzfqEP— I said so. (@charcekage) May 6, 2020
14. April 26, 2020
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We’ll never know how often Black life is taken, justice denied:— Dr. Malinda S. Smith (@MalindaSmith) May 9, 2020
“Two Weapons, a Chase, a Killing and No Charges.
A 25-year-old man running through a Georgia neighborhood ended up dead. A prosecutor argued that the pursuers should not be arrested” @nytimes https://t.co/pJA6kSK6cj
15. April 28, 202015 of 32
16. May 5, 202016 of 32
17. May 5, 202017 of 32
18. May 7, 202018 of 32
19. May 8, 202019 of 32
20. May 8, 2020
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On what would have been his 26th birthday, people were jogging 2.23 miles in his honor to signify the date he was killed by Gregory and Travis McMichael, who racially profiled and shot the jogger in Brunswick, Georgia. #IrunwithMaud #IRunwithAhmaudhttps://t.co/V2KuBaeKjx— NewsOne (@newsone) May 9, 2020
21. May 9, 2020Source:Getty 21 of 32
22. May 10, 202022 of 32
23. May 11, 2020
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Another huge WIN for #JusticeForAhmaud! At the family’s demand— a special prosecutor will replace Tom Durden the S. GA prosecutor that sat on the case until video of Ahmaud’s murder was leaked. Joyette Holmes is out of @cobbcountygovt. Her office is being reviewed for conflicts. pic.twitter.com/rcuQ7UPOfE— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 11, 2020
24. May 12, 2020Source:Twitter 24 of 32
25. May 13, 2020
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“Ahmaud, I am so sorry. I should have stopped them,” reads the note. “I am so sorry.” The card was not signed by a name and no more information or context was provided, including when the card was left there. https://t.co/nzzY5aNple— NewsOne (@newsone) May 14, 2020
26. May 14, 2020Source:Getty 26 of 32
27. May 18, 2020
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Because this story wasn't bad enough now we discover Lindsay McMichael, the daughter and sister of Ahmaud Arbery’s alleged killers, posted a picture of Ahmaud’s deceased body to snapchat pic.twitter.com/RwTwzrAXAG— Reese Waters (@reesewaters) May 19, 2020
28. May 18, 202028 of 32
29. May 20, 2020Source:Getty 29 of 32
30. May 20, 2020
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Today, the GA Congressional Delegation co-signed a letter to U.S. AG William Barr and Asst AG Eric Dreiband, encouraging the use of “all possible Federal resources to achieve full justice, transparency, and accountability in the case of Mr. Ahmaud Arbery.” https://t.co/8FcMZEEKWF— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) May 20, 2020
31. May 21, 2020Source:WJAX 31 of 32
32. May 25, 2020
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NEW: Attorneys for Ahmaud Arbery's parents announce that the Department of Justice will be investigating Arbery's killing and why it took so long to arrest the people responsible. See their statement here: pic.twitter.com/yfcnrT5SjV— Hayley Mason (@HayleyMasonTV) May 26, 2020