While the men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery are awaiting trial, their past is coming back to haunt them. The state of Georgia is asking for their racist history on social media to be introduced as evidence.
Gregory and Travis McMichael, the father and son who followed Arbery while jogging in Brunswick, Ga., have been charged with murder and aggravated assault. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, a recent court filing claims that Travis McMichael posted a “racial highway video Facebook post,” “a Racial Johnny Rebel Facebook post” and sent a racial text message in 2019.
His father reportedly posted a “Identity Dixie Facebook post” and “Racial Johnny Rebel Facebook post.”
William Bryan, who followed them and recorded the incident, is charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment charges. He also faces possible hate crime charges and is currently under investigation for sex crimes. The state wants to “introduce unspecified racist messages extracted from Bryan’s cell phone. At a bond hearing in July, lead prosecutor Jesse Evans said Bryan repeatedly used the n-word in texts that contain ‘a ton of filth.’”
The details of these text messages and Facebook posts are not public.
A separate court filing from prosecutors also asked the “to prohibit the defense from introducing bad character evidence about Arbery at trial. This includes his past convictions, prior encounters with law enforcement and his mental health history.”
Arbery, who was only 26-year-old, was kill on February 23 by the McMichaels. Arbery and Travis McMichael got into a scuffle in which they wrestled over McMichael’s gun, which discharged a fatal shot. William Bryan recorded the incident.
The McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault on May 7, 73 days after Arbery was killed.
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McMichaels' mugshot courtesy of Glynn County Detention Center; CNN screenshot
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