In response to the charges, Ahmaud Arbery’s family attorney Benjamin Crump stated, “This is an important milestone in America’s uphill march toward racial justice, and we applaud the Justice Department for treating this heinous act for what it is — a purely evil, racially motivated hate crime.”

In Georgia federal prosecutors indicted the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery on hate crime and attempted kidnapping charges. 

Following the violent death that included Arbery being chased down in a truck by three men and fatally shot, Gregory McMichael and Travis, a father and son, claimed to be conducting a citizen’s arrest and to be acting in self-defense. The two men and William Bryan, who recorded the incident and allegedly blocked off Arbery with his truck were hit with one count of interference with rights, a hate crime. Gregory and Travis were also charged with one count of each using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm, reports CNN.

Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother released the following statement:

“It’s one step closer to justice. They did the investigation properly and they came out with those indictments. So, my family and I were pleased.”

Federal prosecutors have stated that the suspects used force to interfere with Arbery’s right to utilize a public street due to his race. They also noted that the hate crime led to his death. As he was jogging, the McMichaels “armed themselves with firearms, got into a truck, and chased Arbery through the public streets of the neighborhood while yelling at him, using their truck to cut off his route, and threatening him with firearms,” prosecutors said. 

The three men were taken into custody in May of last year following Arbery’s death. Gregory and Travis McMichael allege that they thought Arbery was a burglary suspect. 

“This is an important milestone in America’s uphill march toward racial justice, and we applaud the Justice Department for treating this heinous act for what it is — a purely evil, racially motivated hate crime,” reads a statement by Arbery family attorney, Benjamin Crump. He added that the indictments were “yet another step in the right direction.”

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