Georgia Investigators Reviewing Footage of Ahmaud Arbery Entering Construction Site

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(File photo: Joshua Lott/Reuters)

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is reviewing additional video footage of Ahmaud Arbery recorded several minutes before he was killed, the Atlanta Journal-Contstitution reported on Saturday.

The footage from a home security camera about a block from where Arbery was shot to death shows a man who appears to be Arbery entering the garage of a house that is under construction before walking around the back of the house. The man was on the site for less than five minutes, and exited through the front door of the house without appearing to take anything.

Another man is seen in the footage observing the construction site after Arbery entered. At the same time, police recorded a 911 caller informing the dispatcher of Arbery’s entry and exit of the house, with the dispatcher saying police would be sent to the scene. When Arbery leaves the home, he is seen running in the direction of the home of Travis McMichael, who along with his father Gregory killed Arbery minutes later.

A Fulton County prosecutor told the Journal-Constitution that the footage does not appear to challenge any of the underlying facts of the case. Video of the killing itself sparked national outrage. In the video, Arbery is seen jogging around the McMichaels’ pickup truck before one of the armed men gets out and attempts to block his path. Arbery lunges for the man’s shotgun and is shot thrice, once by the man with the shotgun and twice time by one of the men standing in the bed of the truck. After being shot, Arbery attempts to stumble away but quickly falls to the ground and dies.

Arbery, who is black, “did not take part in any felony, had no illegal substances in his system, was not armed yet was shot three times with a shotgun at close range,” according to a statement by his family’s lawyers on Saturday. Gregory McMichael initially told investigators that he and his son had attempted a “citizen’s arrest” of Arbery because they suspected him to be a burglar.

However, Georgia law forbids the use of deadly force when conducting a citizen’s arrest unless in self-defense, and the McMichaels appear to have initiated the exchange with the unarmed Arbery.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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