In Jogger's Death, a Text: 'Please Call Him Day or Night'

Seems one of the accused was working unofficially for the police
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2020 10:00 AM CDT
Cop's Text Message Plays Key Role in Arbery Killing
This Thursday, May 7, 2020, file photo combo of images provided by the Glynn County Detention Center in Georgia shows Gregory McMichael, left, and his son Travis McMichael.   (Glynn County Detention Center via AP, File)

In the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, another twist—that one of the accused had told police he could watch for intruders at a nearby construction site, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Greg McMichael, a former Glynn County law officer, was even recommended by a local cop to the site's owner: "Greg is retired Law Enforcement and also a Retired Investigator from the DA's office," Officer Robert Rash texted the property owner, Larry English, on Dec. 20, along with McMichael's phone number. "He said please call him day or night when you get action on your camera." That's because English had been calling police about people going on his property. English, who was away, received text-and-video alerts whenever there was an intruder and often sent them to law officers.

A man resembling Arbery entered the site and spent several minutes there before the Feb. 23 shooting. That apparently prompted McMichael, 64, and his son, 34-year-old Travis McMichael, to pursue the jogger in a truck, confront him with shotguns, and shoot him dead when he resisted. The latest development is raising more questions—like whether there's a policy allowing police to delegate their responsibilities. "I'm not aware of any accepted policy for referring someone," says LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar. In another twist, WSB-TV reports that Greg McMichael leaked the original shooting video in an apparent attempt to make himself look better. But the video sparked protests and a slew of media coverage over the McMichaels, who are white, killing an unarmed black man. (Now Oprah's getting involved.)

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