The father of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot dead in the US while jogging through his neighbourhood, has accused his alleged killers of lynching him.
Devastated Marcus Arbery Sr called the shooting an act of racism by Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, who are white.
After the shooting in February, the McMichaels told police Ahmaud matched the description of a burglar caught on CCTV in the area and that he had violently attacked Travis when accosted.
They were only charged on Thursday after a video surfaced appearing to contradict the statement.
Ahmaud’s father told The Guardian on Sunday: ‘I got to live without my son and they lynched him. It’s just hard. He didn’t deserve that.
‘He was just a lovable young man and he would give you the shirt off of his back. He just loved to work out and he just loved people.’
Marcus Sr said he had faced racism his whole life in the Glynn county community in Georgia and doubts the local justice system treats people equally, though he hopes Ahmaud’s shooting might help change things for the better.
Local police insist they were investigating the case during the 10-week period between the shooting and the release of the video.
State investigators became involved and made the arrests two days after the clip surfaced. The McMichaels face charges of felony murder and aggravated assault
In a bizarre twist it emerged on Saturday that the footage was leaked by an attorney known to the McMichaels who appeared to believe it would clear their name.
Alan Tucker told Inside Edition Friday: ‘I really thought releasing the video would put the truth out to the public,’ Tucker stated.
‘If he [Arbery] had just froze and hadn’t done anything, then he wouldn’t have been shot.’
A lawyer representing the man who filmed the incident today said that he shared the footage with local police on the day of the shooting and went to the station so they could download it.
He insists William ‘Roddie’ Bryan, a neighbour of the McMichaels, was a witness and is cooperating fully with the investigation, but is receiving threats.
Georgia is one of several American states with a ‘stand your ground’ law protecting killings done in self-defense, although its provisions say it doesn’t apply when the killer initiated the violence.
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