The estate of Ahmaud Arbery filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Georgia county where he was killed and a slew of law-enforcement officials there on Tuesday, the one year anniversary of his killing.
The crux of the suit is that officials unlawfully deputized the 25-year-old Black man’s killers and covered up his death.
Arbery was on the street in Glynn County, Georgia, when three white men pursued him and fatally shot him to death; Travis McMichael, accused of firing the fatal shot, allegedly used a racial slur while standing over his body.
The three men facing murder charges in the killing—Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryant—are also named as defendants in Tuesday’s suit. All three pleaded not guilty to murder.
The lawsuit alleges that Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson, also named in the suit, personally knew Gregory McMichael–a former cop and investigator in that office—and intervened to stop officers from arresting the trio after Arbery’s death.
The lawsuit goes on to allege that the McMichaels and Bryan, who are civilians, had been unlawfully deputized by the Glynn County Police Department to guard the construction lot Arbery was seen visiting before he was killed.
While Gregory McMichael was an investigator in Johnson’s office, the lawsuit further claims, she personally intervened to reinstate his powers to carry out arrests without going through the necessary training.