The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is evaluating additional footage taken in the neighborhood where Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed, as they attempt to reconstruct the minutes before his death.
“We are indeed reviewing additional video footage and photographs as part of the active case,” the GBI said in a statement, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It is important to note that this footage was reviewed at the beginning of the GBI investigation and before the arrests of Gregory and Travis McMichael.”
The surveillance video shows a man entering a construction site, who is thought to be Arbery.
“Our office has reviewed the surveillance video,” Arbery’s family’s lawyers said in a statement, “The individual remains on the property for under three minutes before continuing to jog down the road. This video is consistent with the evidence already known to us.”
“Ahmaud did not take anything from the construction site. He did not cause any damage to the property,” the attorneys continued. “He remained for a brief period of time and was not instructed by anyone to leave but rather left on his own accord to continue his jog. Ahmaud’s actions at this empty home under construction were in no way a felony under Georgia law.”
The footage shows that Arbery’s death "was not justified, and the actions of the men who pursued him and ambushed him were unjustified,” the lawyers added. “We reiterate, Ahmaud Arbery did not take part in ANY felony, had no illegal substances in his system, was not armed yet was shot three times with a shotgun at close range.”
Arbery’s family is also seeking punishment for everyone who was involved in Ahmaud’s death. His mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told TMZ, “We want all parties involved to go to prison for life.” She wants the two murder suspects—Gregory and Travis McMichael, as well as the man who recorded the shooting, William “Roddie” Bryan—and law enforcement all held accountable.
Even though Bryan alleges that he wasn’t involved in the shooting, Cooper-Jones and Arbery’s legal team don’t believe him, particularly because he has no justification for recording the incident. Arbery’s family attorney, Lee Merritt, thinks Bryan should also be prosecuted “because he actively participated in the ambush according to previous statements by the McMichaels” and “because our forensic expert says that he was likely holding and brandishing a firearm.”
The attorney believes that officers from the Glynn County Police Department who didn’t investigate Arbery’s murder and arrest the suspects should be held culpable. Merritt is also pursuing charges for district attorneys Jackie Johnson and George Barnhill for mishandling the case at the least, and committing prosecutorial misconduct at worst.
Merritt told TMZ that he thinks Barnhill should be disbarred and step down as District Attorney because he concealed information and tried to discredit the jury pool. The Georgia Attorney General has assigned a new lead prosecutor, Joyette Holmes, to the case.
Earlier this week, the Department of Justice announced that it was “assessing” if “federal hate crimes charges are appropriate,” a Justice Department spokesperson said. According to a statement from the DOJ, the McMichaels could be hit with more than the murder and aggravated assault charges that they were arrested for on May 7. The father and son told police that he and his son thought Arbery was a burglary suspect.
The McMichaels were arrested one day after the GBI started its investigation. Arbery—who would have turned 26 on May 8—was fatally shot two miles from his home in Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23.