According to a press release, a federal grand jury in Georgia’s Southern District charged Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan with hate crimes and the attempted kidnapping of Ahmaud Arbery on Wednesday. Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan are all charged with interference with rights and alleged kidnapping.
Travis and Gregory were also charged with one count each of using, carrying, —”and in Travis’s case, discharging—a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.” It also states that the men “armed themselves with firearms, got into a truck, and chased Arbery through the public streets of the neighborhood while yelling at him, using their truck to cut off his route, and threatening him with firearms.”
Moreover, counts One and Two of the indictment state that the defendants used intimidation to threaten and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race, according to the press release. The three suspects are also accused of kidnapping. According to the press release, the defendants sought to illegally capture and confine Arbery by chasing him down in their trucks and attempting to restrain and prohibit him from freely traveling and preventing his escape.
This comes as federal authorities prepare to launch civil rights investigations into tumultuous police forces. The federal indictment comes on top of the murder and other charges that the men are facing in Georgia, for which they have pleaded not guilty. As previously mentioned, Ahmaud Arbery was fatally attacked while jogging in a neighborhood just outside of Atlanta. Since Arbery’s death was widely publicized, the men were apprehended months later.