President Donald Trump has called the video that appears to show the killing of an unarmed black man “disturbing,” although he said there could be more to the deadly shooting that’s not shown on the 36-second video.
Ahmaud Arbery was jogging on a residential street in Brunswick, Georgia, on Feb. 23 when he was gunned down.
On Thursday night, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested two months after the shooting. Trump weighed in on the killing Friday morning on Fox News.
“I saw the tape and it’s very, very disturbing, the tape,” he said in a phone interview. Trump added that his “heart goes out” to Arbery’s parents.
“I looked at a picture of that young man, he was in a tuxedo, and I will say that looks like a really good young guy,” he said of Arbery. “It’s a very disturbing situation to me and my heart goes out to the parents and the family and the friends, but yet we have to take it, law enforcement is going to look at it.”
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On Friday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that local District Attorney Jackie Johnson’s office refused to allow the Glynn County Police Department to make an arrest in the case. After public anger erupted, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Gregory and Travis.
Asked about the racial issues in the case, Trump said, “Justice getting done is the thing that solves that problem.” He then said there may be more to the case than what’s shown on the video.
“It could be something that we didn’t see on tape,” he said. “There could be a lot of, if you saw it, things went off tape, and then back on tape.”
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“I mean, to anybody that watched it, certainly it was a disturbing or troubling video no question about that,” Trump added. “But they have very good law enforcement in the state of Georgia and I’m sure they are going to come up with exactly what happened. It’s a sad thing. Very sad thing. I hate to see that.”
Gregory and Travis McMichael have claimed they were frustrated by earlier burglaries and auto break-ins in the neighborhood. The two are now being held on murder and aggravated assault charges.
An attorney for Arbery’s mother called the killing a “lynching.” “These men were vigilantes, they were a posse and they performed a modern lynching in the middle of the day,” said attorney Lee Merritt.
Arbery would have turned 26 today.