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Friday, 8 May 2020

District Attorney 'BLOCKED arrests of her friend and his son now charged with 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery's murder' - as they appear in court and Trump describes shooting as 'very disturbing'

Brunswick DA Jackie Johnson blocked police from arresting a father and son accused of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery because one of them used to work in her office, it is claimed

Gregory McMichael had worked as an investigator in her office until his retirement in 2019 causing Johnson to recused herself from the case a few days after the shooting.  

'She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael,' Glynn County Commissioner Allen Booker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The McMichaels made their first court appearance individually Friday afternoon via a video link from inside the Glynn County jail.


Travis McMichael, 34, in his first court appearance


Ex-cop Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, in their first court appearance
Gregory McMichael, 64,in his first court appearance


A picture shared by Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, on his 25th birthday. Protesters gather in Brunswick, Georgia, Friday on what would have been his 26th birthday, a day after two men were arrested for his murder on February 23

Magistrate Judge Wallace Harrell ruled that bond on both charges would have to be set by a superior court judge. Both men were read their rights and spoke only to confirm their names. Neither had attorneys representing them in court and no further hearing dates were scheduled.

Earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump spoke out about the 'very disturbing' footage of the deadly shooting as he said that law enforcement was 'gonna do what's right'. 

His daughter Ivanka also commented asking 'why it seemingly took months, the release of a video and corresponding public outrage to catalyse action'. 

Lee Merritt, the family's lawyer, called the killing a 'lynching' earlier this week.  

Speaking on Wednesday, Merritt stated during a press conference: 'These men were not performing any police function or any duty as citizens of Georgia... these men were vigilantes, they were performing a lynching in the middle of the day.'


A picture shared by Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, on his 25th birthday. Protesters gather in Brunswick, Georgia, Friday on what would have been his 26th birthday, a day after two men were arrested for his murder on February 23
Ex-cop Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested in Brunswick, Georgia, Thursday and charged with murder and aggravated assault of Ahmaud Arbery after this shocking video was released earlier this week
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 Ex-cop Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested in Brunswick, Georgia, Thursday and charged with murder and aggravated assault of Ahmaud Arbery after this shocking video was released earlier this week

At a press conference on Friday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation described how it took 36 hours to find 'probable' cause for felony murder charges against the McWilliams, and would not rule out charging the driver of a second car, William Bryan, who filmed the shooting
Ivanka Trump tweeted about the arrest Friday and asked why it had taken so long to happen
'Don't know yet – we'll go wherever the evidence takes us. If there is probable cause for arrest, we'll do it. If there isn't, we won't,' said Director Vic Reynolds, adding that Bryan's video of the fatal confrontation, which took place on February 23, was a key piece of evidence.
It emerged Friday that police had found probable cause to arrest the father and son in the days after the shooting but they were allegedly prevented from making arrests by Gregory's former co-worker Johnson. 
'The police at the scene went to her, saying they were ready to arrest both of them. These were the police at the scene who had done the investigation,' Commissioner Allen Booker, who has spoken with Glynn County police, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 
'She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael.'
'They were told not to make the arrest,' added Commissioner Peter Murphy, who said he also spoke directly to Glynn County police about the incident and that officers had said there was probable cause for arrest before this. 
DailyMail.com reached out to the DA's office for comment but a representative was not available.  
The Arbery family were told in February that Ahmaud was shot by a homeowner during an attempted burglary, their lawyer Lee Merritt told Yahoo. 

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