Attorney Explains Heartbreaking Reason Ahmaud Arbery Walked Around Construction Site Before Being Shot
When a video of Ahmaud Arbery walking around a construction site just before his death surfaced, people questioned why. But, his family attorney Lee Merritt cleared up questions with an explanation about Arbery’s passions. He also spoke about how it will be hard to prove that his murder was a hate crime.
New Details Emerged In The Ahmaud Arbery That Showed A Previous Dispute With His Murderers
Ahmaud Arbery went for his usual jog in the Georgia sun in February when he was confronted by white men Gregory McMichael, 64, and his 34-year-old son, Travis McMichael. They accused him of being a burglar and shot him, leaving him dead. For more than two months, Arbery’s killers roamed free. People were outraged and called for action, even starting a petition to get justice for his family. A video was posted on social media by a witness and shows the mistreatment of Arbery by the men. The McMichaels’ were finally arrested on felony murder and aggravated assault charges.
But, this was not the first time Arbery had an altercation with Travis McMichael. A property owner in the Brunswick area had reported that a motion sensor light went off in their construction site. This caused McMichael and another neighbor to go scope it out. The pair claimed that they saw Arbery walking around the site but did not approach him. They thought he was armed. Both of the McMichaels’ returned to the site later again that same day. It is important to note that both of the McMichaels’ were armed with guns when they visited the site. However, all they knew at this point was that Arbery had been inside. There was no evidence that he did anything inside of the site.
Arbery Had A Specific Reason Why He Was On The Property
“He had two uncles on his mother’s side that were electricians, and he was entering an apprenticeship as an electrician,” said his family attorney. This led him to have natural curiosities about electrical setups. A video has been circulating around social media of Arbery literally standing and admiring the wiring at the site. “As you can see in the video, he looks up at the wiring, the walls, and the architecture– as you would expect someone with those interests to do,” Merritt continued. He genuinely had aspirations to start this new career and was excited for all of the opportunities to come. Arbery had even gone to school to pursue his passion of becoming an electrician.
There were no signs on the property telling people not to trespass, not to mention that there are videos of other people walking in and out of the property. None of them were construction workers, and most of them are white. However, what Merritt points out is that Arbery was the only person to enter the site that has since been gunned down and murdered.
Merritt Says There Will Be Difficulties In Proving This Is A Hate Crime
Though millions of people on social media have called this a hate crime, it’s not so easy to prove in the state of Georgia. Georgia has no hate crime statute. According to USA Today, “If someone commits a crime motivated by bias, statewide authorities are unable to pursue additional charges or enhanced penalties for the perpetrator.” Meritt says the law requires him to find people who were in a similar situation as Arbery. But since everybody else that entered the property is white, there is nobody that was in a similar situation as Arbery. Merritt believes the crime happened because Arbery was black.
Videos continue to emerge of people entering the site in which Arbery simply looked at before his murder. These people were not implicated in any crimes for doing so, yet Arbery lost his life when in reality he was just trying to pursue his passions.