Police tried to make an arrest shortly after 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot on February 23 but they were blocked by Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson, two Glynn County commissioners said Friday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Thursday charged Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, with murder and aggravated assault, two days after graphic footage emerged of them shooting Arbery while he was out jogging. Commissioner Allen Booker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday: “The police at the scene went to [Johnson], saying they were ready to arrest both of them. These were the police at the scene who had done the investigation. She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael.” Commissioner Peter Murphy said officers at the scene in February concluded they had probable cause but “were told not to make the arrest.”
Former cop Gregory McMichael was an investigator for the Brunswick District Attorney’s office until 2019, prompting Johnson to become one of two prosecutors to recuse themselves from the case.