So far, the more testimony we hear in the murder trial of Greg and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, the three men accused of hunting down and killing Ahmaud Arbery, the clearer it becomes that these were not men who were simply seeking to keep their Georgia neighborhood safe; they appear to be just a trio of hillbillies playing “cops and negroes” with a Black man who was trying desperately to escape a modern-day lynching.
Fox 24 reported that on Wednesday, Glynn County police Sgt. Roderic Nohilly testified that when speaking with the elder McMichael at police headquarters after the shooting, Greg told him Arbery “wasn’t out for no Sunday jog. He was getting the hell out of there.”
Nohilly also read transcripts of their conversation in court that made Greg almost appear to be bragging about his redneck Avengers squad chasing Arbery around and preventing him from leaving.
“He was trapped like a rat,” Greg said, according to the transcript. “I think he was wanting to flee and he realized that something, you know, he was not going to get away.”
“He had an opportunity to flee further, you know?” Greg continued. “We had chased him around the neighborhood a bit, but he wasn’t winded at all. I mean this guy was, he was in good shape.”
Based on this conversation—which, frankly, is giving big slave patrol vibes—it’s clear these white men really believed that white authority and Black compliance are the way of the world and that there was no way they’d ever be charged with crimes just for hunting down a negro who wouldn’t do what he was told. Of course, the fact that no one was arrested until more than two months after the shooting—along with the fact that local authorities appeared to be protecting these Klan-ish vigilantes—only served to reinforce this belief.
Then there’s the McMichaels’ defense team, who appear to be dead set on forming a narrative around their clients that completely ignores the fact that these men are not police officers.
Attorney Franklin Hogue asked Nohilly if he believed raising a gun would be an appropriate response to a fleeing suspect who refused verbal commands to stop.
“You’ll sometimes draw your weapon, won’t you?” Hogue asked, to which Nohilly replied, “I don’t just pull my gun.”
Hogue continued to fish around for the answer he was looking for and got to the point where he wasn’t even asking his questions in the form of a question anymore.
“At some point, if the person is going to attack you, you’ll go ahead and use your weapon,” he insisted, to which Nohilly replied, “It depends on how he’s attacking me.”
Hogue finally got the answer he was reaching for when he asked what if the “attacker” was trying to take his gun away.
“At that point, it might meet the threshold, yes,” Nohilly said.
Hogue, of course, was talking to a cop about what men who aren’t cops had the right to do because the defense is arguing the now-repealed citizen’s arrest law gave them the authority. But that law required reasonable suspicion of someone committing a felony before they could be detained and, according to CNN, Glynn County Police Detective Parker Marcy testified Tuesday that Greg told him he never actually saw Arbery commit a crime. There’s also the fact that, as we previously reported, Bryan, the defendant who joined the chase after the McMichaels initiated it, never invoked citizen’s arrest that day.
So yeah—it’s clear Arbery was a victim, not a suspect or an attacker, and it’s clear Bryan and the McMichael’s were a bunch of yokels on a power trip, not citizens watching over their community. Let’s just hope the overwhelmingly white jury sees it that way.