Travis McMichael, one of the men charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in February, used a racial slur after shooting the deceased.
A state investigator today (June 4) said McMichael called Arbery a “f***ing n***er” as the unarmed black man lay dead on the street of the Satilla Shores neighbourhood.
The investigator said William Bryan, another accused in the murder, shared the information during an interview with investigators on May 13, but had not previously disclosed this in an interview just two days prior.
The investigator also testified that McMichael user the slur several times on social media and during messaging conversations.
McMichael and his father, Gregory, are charged with aggravated assault and murder for chasing Arbery after he was seen leaving a construction site in the Glynn County neighbourhood on February 23. They reportedly grabbed their guns and gave chase in their truck in the lead-up to the deadly confrontation.
Bryan, who videotaped the incident, was held on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment on May 21. He reportedly hit Arbery with his car while the McMichaels were pursuing him.
Numerous messages with racial terms were also found on Bryan’s phone, the investigator told the court. “There’s evidence of Mr Bryan’s racist attitude in his communications, and from that I extrapolate the reason why he made assumptions he did that day,” he said. “He saw a man running down the road with a truck following him, and I believe he made certain assumptions that were, at least in part, based upon his racial bias.”
Bryan’s 36-second video leaked on 5 May and led to calls across the United States for the McMichaels to face murder charges.