Donald Trump is speaking out about the video capturing the brutal shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, a black man who was pursued by three white men as he jogged through his neighborhood in Brunswick, Ga. on Feb. 23, 2020.
According to USA Today, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, who were age 64 and age 34 at the time, pursued Arbery in their white pickup truck as he jogged, stopping their vehicle in front of the young man and confronting him, armed with guns, because they allegedly believed he looked like a suspect in what they claimed had been a spree of neighborhood burglaries and break-ins (Local police had no such records of crimes matching that claim.) A struggle ensued between Travis and Arbery, and according to The Brunswick Times, Travis fired his shotgun three times, killing Arbery.
The district attorney initially assigned to the case determined the McMichaels had done nothing wrong. After mounting pressure from civil rights organizations and the public — bolstered by the release of a video of the shooting filmed by William Bryan, an acquaintance of the McMichaels — the Georgia Bureau of Investigations arrested the McMichaels on May 7, 2020, and charged them both with murder and aggravated assault, per CBS News. President Trump has viewed the horrific video and has a lot to say about it.
Trump calls the video of Ahmaud Arbery's death 'very disturbing'
Donald Trump called the video depicting Ahmaud Arbery’s final moments “heartbreaking,” per the New York Post. “I saw the tape and it’s very, very disturbing,” the president said on Fox & Friends on May 8, 2020. He added, “I looked at a picture of that young man. He was in a tuxedo … I will say that [he] looks like a really good, young guy … My heart goes out to the parents and the family and the friends.”
According to Trump, “Law enforcement is going to look at it, and they have a good governor in the state – very good governor, actually — and he’s going to be looking at it very strongly, and he’s going to do what’s right. But it’s a heartbreaking thing. It’s very rough. Rough stuff.”
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President Trump has faith in Georgia's legal system
During Donald Trump’s segment on Fox & Friends, he was asked about racial tensions surrounding the handling of Ahmaud Arbery’s death. “Mr. President, in the past when there’s a black/white shooting, a lot of times, things spiral out of control. What can you do to make sure justice is done and this doesn’t end up in a racial situation?”
Trump responded: “Well, justice getting done is the thing that solves that problem. And again, it’s in the hands of the governor [Brian Kemp, pictured left], and I’m sure he’ll do the right thing. You know, it could be something that we didn’t see on tape…” Trump added, “But it was a troubling — I mean, to anybody that watched it, certainly it was a disturbing or troubling video, no question about that. But they have very good law enforcement in the state of Georgia and I’m sure they’re going to come up with exactly what happened. It’s a sad — it’s a sad thing.”
Donald Trump isn't the only person speaking out about Ahmaud Arbery's death
President Trump is just one of countless voices speaking out about the death of Ahmaud Arbery. From the young man’s family to celebrities and politicians — there are a growing number of voices calling for justice.
According to CBS News, Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery Sr., wants the men who pursued his son prosecuted and locked away behind bars. “They need the harshest crime they can get. Because that was uncalled for,” he said. “I’m telling you. That’s just hate and murder.”
Basketball star Lebron James took to Twitter to express his anger and grief. “We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can’t even go for a damn jog man!” he said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s running against Trump in the 2020 election, has also been vocal about Arbery’s death, calling it “a senseless lynch before our very eyes 2020-style,” per CBS. Biden called for a “swift, full, and transparent investigation of this brutal murder,” adding that the nation will “need to reckon with this. This goes on. These vicious acts call to mind the darkest chapters of our history.”
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