Mother of Ahmaud Arbery speaks out after former prosecutor indicted

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ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — The mother of Ahmaud Arbery is speaking out after a former Georgia prosecutor was indicted Thursday on misconduct charges. Those charges allege that former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson used her position to shield the men accused of chasing and killing Arbery from being charged with crimes immediately after the shootings.

A grand jury in coastal Glynn County indicted Johnson on charges of violating her oath of office and hindering a law enforcement officer.

The indictment resulted from an investigation Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr ordered last year into local prosecutors’ handling of Arbery’s slaying after a cellphone video of the shooting and a delay in charges sparked a national outcry.

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, told NewsNation this indictment is a good development in her son’s case.

“It shows that someone else saw that something went wrong besides me and my family,” she said. “The state of Georgia also, they were able to come in and look at the case and see that something was actually very, very wrong.”

Arbery was killed Feb. 23, 2020, after a white father and son, Greg and Travis McMichael, armed themselves and pursued the 25-year-Black man in a pickup truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood outside the coastal city of Brunswick.

A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and took cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery at close range with a shotgun. The McMichaels said they believed Arbery was a burglar and that he was shot after attacking Travis McMichael with his fists.

Police did not charge any of them immediately following the shooting, and the McMichaels and Bryan remained free for more than two months until the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case. All three were charged with murder in May 2020 and face trial this fall.

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Greg McMichael had worked as an investigator in Johnson’s office, having retired in 2019. Evidence introduced in pretrial hearings in the murder case shows he called Johnson’s cellphone and left her a voice message soon after the shooting occurred.

“Jackie, this is Greg,” he said, according to a recording of the call included in the public case file. “Could you call me as soon as you possibly can? My son and I have been involved in a shooting and I need some advice right away.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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