On Thursday morning, during a preliminary hearing for the Ahmaud Arbery case, it was revealed that the white father and son who murdered him shouted a racial slur after shooting him.
The defendants of the case – Gregory McMichael, 64 and his son Travis McMichael, 34 were present via video during the hearing. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 50, who recorded the murder was not in court this day.
The allegation was revealed during the testimony of Special Agent Richard Dial, of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Bryan told Dial, during a May 13 interview, that after Arbery was shot — he heard Travis McMichael say, “f***ing n-word.”
Dial went on to reveal that Travis McMichael previously used similar slurs while responding to an Instagram post stating the situation would have gone better if someone had “blown the f—ing n-word’s head off.”
The McMichaels were taken into custody on May 7 after the video of the murder when viral. The two men claimed they were acting in self defense.
Dial said, after reviewing evidence, that he believe Arbery was the one acting in self-defense.
Ahmaud Arbery’s Mother says she was shocked President Obama mentioned her son during his 2020 Commencement Speech
In an interview with Tamron Hall, Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, shared her thoughts about former President Barack Obama’s remarks about her son.
In his commencement address to the graduating class of 2020, President Barack Obama spoke about the continued racial disparities in this country and shared that “injustice like this isn’t new.”
“Let’s be honest: a disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities historically had to deal with in this country,” Obama said. “We see it in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog and some folks feel like they can stop, question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit.”
Cooper-Jones said it was “shocking” when she initially heard his remarks. But admitted she knew he would open up about her son’s death.
“Eventually, I knew he would chime in because he was the president that cared. And I knew he had seen the story and eventually he would speak on it. It really meant a lot,” she said.
During the rest of the virtual interview on the Tamron Hall Show, Cooper-Jones largely discussed the ongoing investigation of her son’s murder.
Hall also asked her about the allegation that the reason the investigation was slowed down was due to the coronavirus outbreak. Cooper-James pushed back, saying that was an excuse and a coverup for their inaction.
“The murder happened before the social distancing came into effect. I think what took so long was my son’s death was going to be covered up. I don’t think that the virus had a big part in it at all,” she told Hall.
Cooper-James said now that her son’s story has gone viral, she hopes justice will be served.
“[The authorities] heard my cries…they heard my questions and they [did not] answer those questions,” she explained. “All I want now is someone to handle the case properly. And if it’s handled properly, there will be justice for Ahmaud.”
Watch President Obama’s speech to the class of 2020 where he mentioned Arbery: