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The White man who initiated the chase of Ahmaud Arbery that ended in his death called him an “a—hole” as his corpse lay 30 feet away in a pool of blood, an officer testified Tuesday.
Glynn County Police Officer Jeffrey Brandeberry was one of the first cops on the scene after Travis McMichael pumped two bullets into Arbery’s chest on Feb. 23, 2020, on a Sunday afternoon in Satilla Shores, Georgia.
“This ain’t no shuffler,” the shooter’s father, Greg McMichael, told Brandeberry at the scene, according to a transcript of the officer’s body camera footage. “This guy’s an a—hole. He was hooked up when he came around that street.”
This combo of booking photos provided by the Glynn County, Ga., Detention Center, shows from left, Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. (Glynn County Detention Center via AP)
(Glynn County Detention Center via AP)
Greg McMichael, a retired police officer, spotted Arbery, 25, running past his house and called for his son. The two men grabbed their guns, hopped into a pickup truck, and pursued Arbery.
Glynn County Police Officer Jeff Brandeberry sits on the witness stand during the trial of Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan in the Glynn County Courthouse, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)
Their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, who was not armed, joined the chase in his own truck and recorded cellphone video that captured part of the deadly confrontation — including the younger McMichael and Arbery tussling over the shotgun.
Travis McMichael then opened fire at close range.
“He attacked my son,” Brandeberry testified that Greg McMichael told him. “He came at him. He tried to get the damn shotgun away.”
The three men are on trial in Glynn County Superior Court for murder, aggravated assault, and other charges for which they face up to life in prison.
Cobb County prosecutor Linda Dunikoski has argued that the three men chased Arbery for four minutes through the neighborhood, threatened to shoot him, then “trapped him like a rat” on the street.
Dunikoski showed jurors surveillance video of Arbery wandering around an under-construction home’s interior minutes before the chase began.
There is no evidence that Arbery, whom prosecutors said was an avid jogger, had taken anything from the unoccupied house and he had nothing on him when he was shot.
Marcus Arbery, center, father of Ahmaud Arbery, takes his seat during a pretrial motion hearing in the trial of Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, at the Glynn County Courthouse, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga.
(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)
Defense lawyers countered that the McMichaels suspected that Arbery was a burglar and that he had been spotted four times on surveillance footage entering the under-construction house.
Greg McMichael told investigators that there had been a rash of thefts throughout the neighborhood, including a gun stolen from his son’s truck a few weeks earlier, and they feared Arbery might be armed.
They argued that they were trying to detain Arbery until the police arrived and only fired in self-defense.
The men also face federal hate crime charges over the deadly encounter.
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