Travis and Gregory McMichael were arrested on May 7 on charges of murder and aggravated assault relating to Arbery’s February death. Their arrest came in the wake of a national outcry for justice following the release of a video depicting the incident.
The video, which shows the McMichaels confronting Arbery on a suburban Georgia street in broad daylight before shooting and killing him, was leaked by Gregory McMichael to clarify rumors about the encounter, according to Boston 25. The 25-year-old Arbery was unarmed during the confrontation, and his death has sparked waves of anger around the world.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. McMichael Claims The Photo Was Not ‘Malicious’ & Said She Took It Because She’s a ‘Huge Fan of True Crime’
McMichael has admitted to circulating a photo of Arbery’s body within the Brunswick, Georgia, community where the events took place.
Photos released by the Sun have been edited to obscure Arbery’s body.
She told the Sun:
I had no nefarious or malicious intent when I posted that picture. The thing is, I’m a huge fan of true crime – I listen to four or five podcasts a week – I’m constantly watching that sort of thing.
It was more of a, ‘Holy shit, I can’t believe this has happened.’ It was absolutely poor judgment.
McMichael has made additional statements indicating her sympathy for Arbery’s family, saying, “I’m not a mother, but I couldn’t imagine losing my child. I think about her every day and the grief and despair she must be feeling.”
2. The Arbery Family Lawyer Slammed McMichael For Spreading The Photo
Lee Merritt, the lawyer for the Arbery family, responded to the photo, saying, “[t]he picture Lindsay McMichael posted was very disturbing and very disturbing to the family.” Merritt added that “there are probably more videos and more images of before, during, and after Ahmaud’s murder.
“It actually fits in with the pattern of the McMichael family engaging in a weird, violent form of voyeurism,” he continued in his statement to the Sun. “First you have [Gregory] McMichael sharing with a news station a video of the murder then you have his daughter sharing an image of Ahmaud’s bullet-ridden body on Snapchat. It’s deeply disturbing behavior.”
3. McMichael Has Pushed Back Against Claims That Arbery’s Death Was a ‘Lynching’
According to McMichael, she was at home watching a movie with her mom when she heard gunshots and went outside to find out what had happened.
“All I saw was the look on his [Travis’s] face and he was looking very desperate… I don’t think we even exchanged a word,” she described. “I’ve seen my brother in his happiest moments — I was there when his child was born and I’ve seen him in distress and I know that look… it wasn’t like some glory thing, like ‘I stalked and then got the kill that I was hoping for.’”
McMichael claims she has not spoken to her father or brother about the incident. McMichael added in her interview that she and her mother have received violent threats and no longer feel safe at home.
“They are not monsters,” Lindsay said told the Sun about her father and brother. “This wasn’t a lynching. Do I think mistakes were made? Absolutely, but look back on your life how many mistakes have you made?”
4. McMichael Deleted Her Facebook Page Amid Backlash
Lindsay McMichael has deleted her Facebook page amid backlash over the photo she posted on Snapchat. Several angry social media users had been sharing a link to the profile page, along with other personal information about McMichael and her family and were encouraging others to message her there.
Screenshots of McMichael’s now-deleted page show she studied psychology at the College of Coastal Georgia. She wrote on her page, “Runner, adventurer, nature enthusiast, foodie, dog momma, #skipthestraw.”
5. McMichael Said She Her Family Is Not Racist & Her Brother & Father ‘Loved’ Her Non-White Boyfriends
McMichael told the Sun her family is not racist. She said she has had non-white boyfriends in the past and her father and brother “loved” them, according to the Sun.
McMichael added, “We’re not the ones on trial here — my dad and my brother are and yes, I don’t think that they were beating the hood of the truck and saying, ‘Let’s go get this person.’ I think that things just really escalated. I just want people to realize we’re not monsters.”
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