The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday launched an investigation into the shooting death of two white Georgian unarmed black joggers, Ahmed Arberry, a lawyer for the families of those killed said Monday.
Attorney S. Lee Merritt said he was assured by government officials that the FBI and federal prosecutors would seek both criminal and criminal charges against Arberry on Feb. 23. Former police officer Gregory McMichael (4) and his 34-year-old son Travis were shot and killed by McMichael.
“In this case, it makes clear that not all black citizens of South Georgia enjoy the same protection under the law.” Merit told TMZ Live.
“If you shoot someone in broad daylight on the street, you can usually expect at least one arrest. No arrests were made. We took three months without any major arrests. ”
Merritt says federal agents are “spreading the net here.”
Merritt said the federal investigation will include a review of local police and prosecutors accused of trying to bury the case, CBS News reported.
The Justice Department said the announcement came two weeks after it was considering whether to jump into the fray following a hate crime charge.
Georgia is one of four U.S. states that do not have hate crime laws
The 25-year-old Arberry was shot and killed during a confrontation with Marek Mitchells and a third man, William “Roddy” Brian, who portrayed the fatal incident.
The case lasted several weeks without arrest, as two local prosecutors recovered themselves because of a relationship with retired Glenn County police officer Gregory McMichael in the Brunswick prosecutor’s office.
But the video of Brian’s shooting went public earlier this month, sparking national outrage.
The state’s law enforcement agency, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, charged McMahells with murder on May 9.
Brian was also arrested last week on murder charges.