Arbery was jogging in Brunswick, Georgia, when Travis McMichael, 35, and his father, Gregory McMichael, 65, pursued him in their truck and shot him dead on February 23, 2020.
The case is the most significant civil rights prosecution undertaken to date by the Biden administration Justice Department and comes as federal officials have moved quickly to open sweeping investigations into troubled police departments as civil rights takes center stage among the department's priorities. "Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing-and in Travis's case, discharging-a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence", prosecutors explained.
The McMichaels chased Arbery through a suburban neighborhood outside Brunswick, Ga., yelling at him, cutting off his jogging route with their truck and threatening him with guns.
Bryan recorded the chase on his cellphone, which captured Arbery getting ambushed by the McMichaels.
The indictment accuses the three men of interfering with Arbery's rights "because of Arbery's race and color".
They face hate crime and attempted kidnapping charges, in addition to charges of felony murder. "That day three armed white men, Defendants Gregory McMichael, Travis McMicheael, and William Bryan - entrusted by local law enforcement to respond to recent trespasses in the area, and armed with a Police-Department-issued revolver and a 12-gauge shotgun - hunted Ahmaud down in their trucks".
Travis McMichael's attorneys have denied that he made the remark. Count One also alleges that the offense resulted in Arbery's death.
© Glynn County Sheriffs Office Booking photos of Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. who have been charged in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.
When a video capturing the confrontation was leaked and posted online that May, sparking widespread outrage, the case investigation sped up.
"There is absolutely nothing in the indictment that identifies how this is a federal hate crime and it ignores without apology that Georgia law allows a citizen to detain a person who was committing burglaries until police arrive", Rubin said in a statement.
Bryan's attorney also expressed disappointment in the Department of Justice's indictment.
"Roddie Bryan has committed no crime", Gough said in a statement.