UPDATED 5/19, 2:50 p.m. ET: Prior discipline has been unearthed pertaining to Glynn County cop Robert Rash, who inappropriately told the owner of the under-construction home where Ahmaud Arbery was filmed—as were numerous previous individuals—to report security camera activity to neighbor and eventual shooter Gregory McMichael. Local outlet News4JAX found that Rash shared McMichael’s phone number and “encouraged the property owner to contact [McMichael], a resident of the Satilla Shores community and a retired district attorney investigator, if anyone trespassed on the property.”
Rash was hit with disciplinary measures in 2018 when he and other officers neglected to take a fellow cop, Lt. Robert Sasser, into custody as the man assaulted an estranged wife before their eyes. The incident was filmed by body cam and also showed the man attacking the observing police. The police chief at the time said Sasser had committed “clear criminal violations” and gotten away clear. Per News4JAX, a “letter of reprimand also stated that officers were laughing and joking when the situation de-escalated.”
Of Rash’s actions pertaining to Ahmaud Arbery, homeowner Larry English’s lawyer Beth Graddy said, “As an attorney, I look at that. I think the Glynn County Police Department cloaked Greg McMichael with authority to enforce the law and that is a tremendous amount of power to place in the hands of a private citizen.”
LaGrange, Georgia Chief of Police Lou Dekman, once the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, spoke disapprovingly of Rash’s move. “As we see in the result of this incident, it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous for the citizen that is maybe representing the neighborhood and making the confrontation. It’s dangerous for the person who’s being confronted. In addition, police chiefs and departments and law enforcement agencies, they make decisions about the allocation of resources based on calls for service. So, if we’re not getting those calls, we’re not responding to them and we’re not documenting them,” Dekman said.
Rash is still working for the county, per Glynn’s HR office. County and law enforcement officials gave News4JAX no comment, but a county spokesman “did say that stories about the text between their officer and Greg McMichael back in December surprised them.”
See original story below.
The house under construction that Ahmaud Arbery visited the day he was fatally shot had been visited by multiple people beforehand, new surfaced videos show. As CNN reports, homeowner Larry English has released surveillance video from the construction site in Brunswick, Georgia, showing that other individuals had trespassed on the property. In a statement from the Arbery family's attorneys, it was said that Ahmaud was "the only one who was presumed to be criminal."
Across 11 different surveillance clips taken from Oct. 25, 2019 to Feb. 23, 2020, multiple people could be seen walking around the construction site. Among the people were a man and a woman together, children, an an unidentified male who visited the property on several occasions. Only one of the clips is confirmed to show Arbery trespassing, and it's dated Feb. 23, 2020, the day he was fatally shot by Gregory and Travis McMichael.
When asked about the clips that have circulated, Arbery attorney S. Lee Merritt said he was not going to ask the family about the footage. "I have chosen to stop questioning the grieving family of Ahmaud Arbery about images from the cameras mounted at the construction site of Larry English as Mr. English himself has said no criminal activity ever took place there and it is clear that Ahmaud was on the premises in the past along with many other people," Merritt said.
English's attorney J. Elizabeth Graddy added that the videos were sent to English's neighbor, asking if they knew any of the people who appeared on camera. Originally English said he didn't want the videos to be released in case they would be "misued and misintrepreated."
Following the release of the video of the incident, which shows Gregory and Travis McMichael shooting and killing Ahmaud Arbery, TMZ reported that the NAACP has received almost $100,000 in donations. The money will reportedly be split between the Georgia NAACP and Arbery's family.