Before Ahmaud Arbery’s death, multiple people walked through construction site, report says
Surveillance footage reportedly shows multiple people walking through a construction site where Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery stopped before being gunned down moments later in an incident that has triggered national outrage.
Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot three times Feb. 23 after a white father and son duo chased him down while he was running through Satilla Shores, a neighborhood two miles from his home in Brunswick.
Before he was slain, Arbery was recorded inside an open-framed home being built on the same street.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, have been jailed on murder charges since May 7. The elder McMichael told police he suspected Arbery was responsible for recent break-ins in the neighborhood. He also said Arbery attacked his son before he was shot.
Glynn County police told USA TODAY they had no records of home break-ins or burglaries between Jan. 1 and Feb. 23 in that neighborhood. Local media reported one car burglary.
Homeowner Larry English confirmed to CNN through the release of new videos that several people had entered the construction site over the course of several months. CNN reported that it obtained 11 surveillance clips from Oct. 25, 2019, to Feb. 23, 2020, from Attorney J. Elizabeth Graddy, who is representing English.
Among the people seen entering the site on separate occasions: A man and woman, a man and even children.
Earlier, English’s attorney released three security camera clips taken Dec. 17 – more than two months before the shooting – that showed a black man in a T-shirt and shorts at the site. In the final clip, the man walks a few steps toward the road, then jogs away.
“It now appears that this young man may have been coming onto the property for water,” Graddy said in a statement. “There is a water source at the dock behind the house as well as a source near the front of the structure. Although these water sources do not appear within any of the cameras’ frames, the young man moves to and from their locations.”
VIDEO ANALYSIS: Legal experts break down the Ahmaud Arbery shooting video
It is not known whether Arbery is the person shown in any of the videos taken prior to Feb. 23.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, has said she believes her son – who had dreams of being an electrician like three uncles – was merely out jogging.
Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Arbery family, said an unfinished property is an “electrician’s dream” and suspects Arbery was observing the electrical work of the house.
English has said the house was wide open, and nothing was ever taken from the property. English does not know anyone in the videos which were transmitted to his phone by his security system when someone entered the property, Graddy told CNN.
The case catapulted race relations into the spotlight amid cries of racial profiling after a video of the incident was posted on the website of a local radio station on May 5.
The fuzzy footage – taken by a man police say is a witness – shows Arbery, dressed in shorts and a white top, running from the McMichaels. Travis McMichael and Arbery appear to struggle over a gun.
It doesn’t show Arbery with a firearm; police have not said they recovered one.
Gregory McMichael’s attorney, Franklin Hogue, said more details would be revealed at a preliminary court hearing that he plans to request soon.
“The truth will reveal this is not just another act of violent racism,” he said. “Greg McMichael did not commit murder. Greg McMichael is not a party to the crime of murder.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has taken over the case. The FBI is also weighing potential federal hate crime charges. Courts are largely closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s not known when a grand jury can be convened.
Contributing: Nicquel Terry Ellis; The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ahmaud Arbery: Videos show multiple people at Ga. construction site