The trial of the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery continued in Glynn County, Georgia on Thursday. Much of the day's court proceedings honed in on the construction site that Arbery visited moments before he was killed.
One of the defendants, Greg McMichael, claims he spotted Arbery running from the unfinished home after he was spotted inside of it. After spotting Arbery inside the unfinished home, he joined his son, Travis, and friend, William "Roddy" Bryan, in chasing the unarmed Black jogger with a shotgun. Ultimately, the three men caught up to Arbery, surrounded him and Travis McMichael shot him. Greg McMichael claims he initiated the chase because he saw Arbery inside the unfinished home and assumed he may have been connected to a string of robberies in the area. However, there is no evidence showing Arbery took anything from the unfinished home or damaged it.
Video evidence presented to the jury in the trial of Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael and William Bryan shows Arbery in the unfinished home before the shooting. Prosecutors also presented security camera footage of several white people entering the same home prior to Arbery's death without interference.
"They saw two white boys with bicycles walk into the doorless garage to drag away plywood. Jurors also watched a clip of a white man and woman strolling into the home at night, the man carrying a small bag in one hand," a report from the Associated Press reads.
The prosecution also presented a recorded statement from Larry English, the man who installed the security cameras at the construction site Arbery frequented.
“Was it common in your experience as a general contractor to have people coming in and out of construction sites?” prosecutor Paul Camarillo asked.
“Frequently during the daytime,” English asked, according to the Associated Press.
According to the Associated Press, English confirmed that the two bicycle riders did take plywood, but he didn't mind because they used it to build a bike ramp. However, he did call the police when he noticed a white man and white woman entering the property without his permission.
Arbery was caught on security camera footage inside the unfinished home for the first time in October 2019. Arbery seems to look around without taking anything, including English's toolbox and boat. Still, the Associated Press reports English called the police.
“I’ve got a trespasser there,” English told the police on October 25, 2019.
“He’s tattooed down both arms. He’s plundering around.”
According to the Associated Press report, Arbery was not at the home when police arrived. English told the prosecution that he'd hoped “they would find him and talk to him [and] tell him not to be there anymore.” When asked if Arbery had taken anything, English confirmed that he did not.
“Was anything ever taken from the structure itself, from the construction site itself?” Camarillo asked.
“Not that I know of,” English answered.
English also confirmed that he did not know the McMichaels well and had never met Bryan. He also noted that he had never asked the three men to watch his property.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.