Jury Hears 911 Calls Defendants Made In The Months Before Ahmaud Arbery’s Shooting

, Jury Hears 911 Calls Defendants Made In The Months Before Ahmaud Arbery’s Shooting, The Evepost Huff News

On Day Four of the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s accused killers, prosecutors played 911 calls Gregory and Travis McMichael made in the months before the Feb. 23, 2020, fatal shooting in Brunswick, Georgia.

Cara Richardson, a 911 center operations coordinator in Glynn County, took the stand Wednesday and recounted the accusations the McMichaels made in calls dating back to July 2019.

Though the men don’t name Arbery, the descriptions they give fit the man they later gunned down, and the defense has pointed to the calls as evidence that the McMichaels were merely trying to enact a “citizen arrest” on a suspected thief.

Gregory McMichael, his son, Travis, and William “Roddie” Bryan, a resident who followed the McMichaels and filmed the shooting, are facing charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, as well as federal hate crime charges. They are being tried in Glynn County, where the killing occurred.

In the first recording prosecutors played, from the day of the shooting, Gregory McMichael called 911 from the back of a pickup during a chase.

“There is a Black male, running down the street,” McMichael says frantically. The call operator interrupts, asking him to identify where in the Satilla Shores neighborhood they are.

“I don’t know what street we’re on,” the elder McMichael replies. He’s then heard shouting at Arbery: “Stop right there, damn it! Stop!”

McMichael continues shouting as the operator tries to clarify his location. “Hello? Sir? Sir, where are you at?” asks the operator.

, Jury Hears 911 Calls Defendants Made In The Months Before Ahmaud Arbery’s Shooting, The Evepost Huff News

Richardson told lead state prosecutor Linda Dunikoski that McMichael did not respond after that.

, Jury Hears 911 Calls Defendants Made In The Months Before Ahmaud Arbery’s Shooting, The Evepost Huff News
Ahmaud Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery, center, and his attorney Benjamin Crump, left, leave the Glynn County Courtroom during the trial Tuesday of Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, in Brunswick, Georgia.

Stephen B. Morton, Pool via Associated Press

Dunikoski then played an earlier call, from July 13, 2019, in which McMichael identifies himself as a retired chief investigator for the district attorney’s office and asks to speak with a supervisor. He provides his contact number and home address, and tells the operator there have been several “break-ins” in the neighborhood.

“We got a lot of break-ins in this area, automobile break-ins. And my son and I just discovered a guy,” Gregory McMichael says, referring to Travis McMichael. “We think he may be living under Bluff Creek bridge. We just made contact with him, a real shady looking fella and a possibility he may be the one that has been breaking into all of these automobiles around here.”

In a Jan. 1, 2020, call, Travis McMichael reported that a gun was stolen from his truck. “I need a police officer, I need to report a stolen pistol,” he says.

On Feb. 11, just 12 days before Arbery’s killing, Travis McMichael told a 911 operator that he had been sitting in his house watching a home construction site across the street when he spotted a man. There had been a “string of robberies” in the neighborhood, he said, and hevdescribed the man as a “Black male in a red T-shirt and white shorts,” about “6 foot” tall.

“When I turned around, he took off running into the house,” Travis McMichael said, adding that the man reached into his pocket, but he did not know if the man was armed. He advised emergency services to be “mindful” of that and left a contact number.

During the same call, Travis McMichael said he and several other neighbors were in the area and that the man tried to “sneak behind a bush.” He then noted that his gun had been stolen on Jan. 1 and that he had never seen the man in the neighborhood before.

Arbery’s death sparked months of national outrage and protests throughout major cities in 2020. The trial, which began Friday, resumes Thursday, with the prosecution expected to continue to call witnesses.