A Feb 11 police reports  indicates that a light-skinned man was seen at a house under construction in Brunswick GA. This photo indicates that Arbery is dark-skinned.

(Photo Credit: Family)

Did The McMichaels Misidentify Ahmaud Arbery?

A lead attorney says case made him cry

Maria Boynton
May 14, 2020 - 8:10 pm

A newly obtained police report indicates that Ahmaud Arbery may have been misidentified by the men accused of killing him, Gregory and Travis McMichael.

Previously published reports indicate that on February 11, Travis McMichael told police in Brunswick, Georgia that he'd had an encounter with someone trespassing at a home that was under construction. Later reports indicate that McMichael said on February 23 he recognized Ahmaud Arbery as the same individual he saw trespassing on February 11. Video shows moments before his death Arbery went inside the home that was under construction, yet touched nothing and left. It was on February 23 that the McMichaels told police they'd pursued Arbery believing him to be the "burglar" from February 11. That encounter, also caught on video, shows Arbery getting shot and dying in the street. 

The police report from the February 11 incident describes the "trespasser" as a lighter-skinned male, with dreads, and tatoos. It reads:

The unknown male appears to be a lighter skinned black male, slender build, approx 5,10"-6' tall, both arms looked to be covered in tattos. Male has 3-4" twist/dreads hair style.

A photo of Ahmaud Arbery indicates that he is a dark-skinned black man
(Photo Credit: Family)

NAACP Vice President, Atlanta Attorney Gerald Griggs says "It appears from the police report that misidentifcation could play a major role in this case as a light skinned individual was described in the encounter. From all reports of witnesses and photos, Ahmaud Arbery was a darker complexion individual. It's quite possible that the McMichaels misidentified Ahmaud Arbery."

The McMichaels were taken into custody and charged with murder and aggravated assault on May 7, more than 2 months after the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

Atlanta Attorney Chris Stewart is a lead attorney on the case representing the Ahmaud's mother  Wanda Cooper-Jones.  "When I first heard about the arrests", says Stewart, "I actually started tearing up and actually cried." Stewart says he hadn't cried in years though he's handled some "very controversial cases" through the years. Stewart says he cried because "We finally got Step 1."  The Atlanta lawyer explains the "three steps to justice"  with  "Step 2 the guilty verdict and "Step 3 is the long sentence."

"It's just sad that African Americans have to fight so hard just to get to Step 1" adds Stewart.

The Atlanta law firm Stewart Trial Attorneys is a lead in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case representing the dead man's mother
(Photo Credit: Stewart Trial Attorneys)

Stewart Trial Attorneys has announced that it has partnered with attorney Justin D. Miller. According to the firm's website "Attorney Miller brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the firm in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, and premises liability."

Stewart was brought into the case by Attorney Lee Merritt. "Once we looked into it and saw that this man had been hunted, we were not going to stop until these men were behind bars." 

The ultimate goal says Stewart is to "make sure that they are found guilty of murder and aggravated assault and to make sure that third person" who filmed the shooting of Arbery "is charged with hunting."

Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes has been named by the Georgia Attorney General to prosecute the case.

As for two previous district attorneys in the south Georgia town recusing themselves, and one, George Barnhill making statements apparently siding with the McMichaels,  according to Stewart "gives us the blueprint of what happens to people all the time, where if nobody's looking, and you have a corrupt DA, they will say whatever they want to say to justify this person being killed and no one looks twice."