The Biden-Harris Department of Justice has announced federal hate crime charges against Travis and Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan. The DOJ alleges they violated various civil rights of Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by Travis McMichael with a shotgun in Georgia on February 23, 2020. The accused chased down Mr. Arbery, who was out for a jog, or burglarizing the neighborhood, depending on who you believe. These are the first charges alleging racial bias on the part of the three white men who have been charged in a separate state proceeding with the murder of Mr. Arbery, who was black.
Racism Allegations Absent Evidence
The charges all include allegations that the accused acted against “Ahmaud Arbery, an African American man, because of Arbery’s race and color,” which is why they are federal hate crimes. The eight-page Grand Jury indictment does not say what evidence shows this racial bias – nor does any publicly available information. We have learned more about Mr. Arbery since his story was on the front page, however, and his history is not terribly flattering.
Before George Floyd’s death-throes were captured on camera, it was Mr. Arbery’s killing that occupied the front pages. His mother hired race-hustling Ben Crump wannabe, Lee Merrit, to push the narrative that Arbery was killed because of his race. The McMichaels say they chased Arbery for being a thief, not because of his race and color. Journalist Andy Ngo tweeted a disclosure made in state court revealing that Arbery had a history of claiming to be a jogger as a cover for committing crimes.
A man who pretended to be a jogger to steal stuff was chased for repeatedly stealing from the neighborhood where Messers McMichael and Bryan lived. To believe Arbery was an innocent jogger on the day he died is to write it off as a fantastic coincidence that strains credulity past its breaking point. He was, the evidence reveals, a less than upstanding citizen, to put it mildly. Arbery’s killing may still have been illegal, but why pretend he was something he wasn’t? That likely has more to do with the civil suit which could provide a financial windfall for the Arbery family, as it did for the families of Trayvon Martin and Daunte Wright aspired to do, for instance.
The DOJ case seems more about politics. Why else would the feds make this charge? Mr. Arbery’s killing is being prosecuted in state courts, and no publicly available information indicates racial bias. Perhaps it’s because Arbery’s killer has a solid chance of acquittal? Travis McMichael was standing in the road with a shotgun when Mr. Arbery ran to him and started punching him in the face while trying to wrest the Remington from his grip. It is beyond unfortunate when facts stand in the way of a convenient narrative.
There is no trial date yet set for any of the defendants in either state or federal court.
Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.