One day after vowing to look into the handling of Ahmaud Arbery’s death, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is requesting that the U.S. Department of Justice step in, WSB-TV Atlanta reports.
"We are committed to a complete and transparent review of how the Ahmaud Arbery case was handled from the outset," Carr said. "The family, the community and the state of Georgia deserve answers, and we will work with others in law enforcement at the state and federal level to find those answers."
Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed black man, was shot and killed on February 23 while jogging in the neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia. Gregory McMichael, 64, and his 34-year-old son Travis were eventually arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault, two days after a video of the incident surfaced, leading to public demand for justice.
Carr said in an interview on Fox News that he was informed about the incident on February 27 because Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson recused herself from the case due to a conflict of interest. The elder McMichael is a former law enforcement officer who served as an investigator with Johnson.
The case is now on its third prosecutor; District Attorney Tom Durden, who brought forth charges against the McMichaels, and asked for the assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Vic Reynolds, director of the GBI, said at a press conference Friday that despite being just two days into their independent investigation, "probable cause was clear to our agents pretty quickly."
Two Glynn County police commissioners told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Johnson’s office blocked their efforts to detaining the suspects because she wanted to "protect her friend McMichael," even though "officers at the scene concluded they had probable cause to make arrests." Johnson disputed the commissioners' claim, stating, "No Assistant District Attorney in the office directed any Glynn County police officer not to make an arrest."