“Jackie” was Jackie Johnson, the Brunswick District Attorney. Until he retired in 2019, Greg McMichael worked as an investigator in Johnson’s office. The call lasted just 39 seconds, but Arbery’s family contends it was the reason no one was arrested in the case for 74 days — and almost prevented a trial.
McMichael wasn’t the only person calling his former boss for advice that day. Officers with the Glynn County Police Department investigating the killing also reached out to Johnson’s office seeking advice on what to do.For Black residents of Ahmaud Arbery’s hometown, trust in the justice system is on trial right alongside his accused killers.
(CNN)Those seeking justice for Ahmaud Arbery want more than the three White men convicted in the 2020 murder of the 25-year-old Black jogger running through their neighbourhood in south Georgia. Gregory McMichael contacted a number on his cell phone and left a voicemail an hour after his son Travis shot Arbery twice in the head with a shotgun. “I’m Greg, and I’d want to introduce myself to Jackie. Could you please contact me as soon as possible… My (inaudible) and I were recently involved in a shooting, and I’m in desperate need of advice…” According to evidence given in pre-trial hearings in the Ahmaud Arbery murder prosecution, Gregory McMichael said in the voicemail.
For Black residents of Ahmaud Arbery’s hometown, trust in the justice system is on trial right alongside his accused killers. How Johnson allegedly responded to those calls is behind a two-count indictment accusing her of violating her oath of office and hindering law enforcement. According to the indictment handed down September 2, Johnson obstructed law enforcement “by directing that Travis McMichael should not be placed under arrest, contrary to the laws of said State.”] have gone unanswered.
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The indictment contends even as she recused herself from the case because of her connection to Greg McMichael, Johnson steered the investigation to nearby Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill. Then she recommended to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office that Barnhill handle the case, allegedly failing to disclose she had already discussed the case with Barnhill.