Electing Good District Attorneys in the U.S. should be Top Priority for African Americans




It’s no secret that African Americans have statistically not been treated fairly in the judicial system when it comes to whites killing blacks. Usually, when a black man is killed by someone white, there is often a long-drawn-out process before charges are brought forth, even when there is clear and convincing evidence. For blacks to receive any form of Justice, it usually takes political pressure from activists around the country to at least get an investigation. The harsh reality is many of the cases never receive the Justice that it rightfully deserves because of bad District Attorneys. A District Attorney’s job is to prosecute criminal cases against people charged with crimes. It isn’t supposed to be race or gender-specific, or should political influences play a part in whether or not they charge someone with a crime or not. If the person commits the crime then charge them, its pretty simple or is it?

Now, let us bring into the perspective of how systematically flawed our judicial system is currently. Let’s all say his name, Ahmaud Aubery!! Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, who was unarmed, was jogging on the street in front of Travis McMichael’s home in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick on Feb. 23. While jogging and minding his own business, 64-year-old Gregory McMichael and 34-year-old Travis McMichael decides to take the law in their own hands and try and apparent someone they believed to have been a burglary suspect. The two men justified the killing of Ahmaud Aubery by utilizing Georgia’s citizen’s arrest law. However, Georgia’s citizen arrest law requires that the offender must have committed a crime in the presence of another person, or that person must have “immediate knowledge” of a crime that has taken place by the perpetrator. In which case neither Travis or his father Gregory witness Ahmaud Aubery committing any crimes. If they suspected he looked like a burglary suspect that had been breaking into homes, then that means that they had no” immediate knowledge.” Ahmaud Aubery was racially profiled with no supporting evidence to prove he was the person breaking into homes. So what law justified the killing of Ahmaud Aubery?

Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael murdered Ahmaud Aubery!

LET US FAST FORWARD TO AFTER THE KILLING OF AHMAUD AUBERY………………

I want you to meet Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson who recused herself from investigating the shooting of Arbery because she said one of the men seen in the video of the fatal shooting pointing a gun at Arbery, Greg McMichael, is a retired investigator from her office.

Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson

What does recuse actually mean? It means to excuse oneself from a case because of a potential conflict of interest or lack of impartiality. When a district attorney identifies a conflict of interest associated with his or her prosecution of a case, the district attorney may seek assistance with the prosecution from another prosecutorial district, the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Division, the Administrative Office of the Courts, or the Conference of District Attorneys. Therefore, Johnson had many options but she instead choose to pass the ball to another buddy of hers who decided not to pursue any charges.

I want you to meet Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill. Who released a statement to the Glynn County Police Captain…

Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill
Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill.
Barnhill letter to Glynn County Police Capt. Tom Jump

“It appears Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William Bryan were following in “hot pursuit of a burglary suspect with solid first-hand probable cause,” Barnhill wrote. “Arbery initiated the fight. … At that point, Arbery grabbed the shotgun (that Travis McMichael was holding). Under Georgia law, McMichael was allowed to use deadly force to protect himself.”

NOW LETS REVIEW GEORGIA’s LAW……….

Georgia Code
TITLE 17 – CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 4 – ARREST OF PERSONS
ARTICLE 4 – ARREST BY PRIVATE PERSONS
§ 17-4-60 – Grounds for arrest

A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge. If the offense is a felony and the offender is escaping or attempting to escape, a private person may arrest him upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.

According to police, the white father and son, 64 and 34, chased Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, after he ran by Travis McMichael’s home in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick on Feb. 23. He was unarmed and jogging at the time.

In the police report, McMichael says his son Travis hopped out of the truck with his shotgun when Arbery wouldn’t stop as they asked. Then McMichael alleges that Arbery “violently” attacked Travis. However, in the video, Arbery is seen veering out of the way of the two men truck to avoid them. Then Arbery attempts to runs in a yard around their truck, and Travis is seen following him to the front of the truck with his shotgun. It was at that point when a fight over the gun begins.

So I would like to point out a few apparent discrepancies in Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill’s report. He said, “Arbery initiated the fight.” I guess its OK in Barnhill’s professional opinion and his interpretation of the law to allow someone with a gun who is not law enforcement to try and apprehend an unarmed suspect. Perhaps Barnhills wanted Arbery to comply with the person who had the gun, and because Arbery wanted to protect himself from the aggressors, Barnhill thought it was justified for the two men to kill him. So did Barnhill considered that Arbery also had rights to defend himself from an aggressor.

LET’S go back to school District Attorney Barnhill and review the law that you used to justify the killing of Ahmaud Aubery ..

Georgia Code Title 16. Crimes and Offenses § 16-3-23

A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation; however, such person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:

(1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner and he or she reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence;

(2) That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using such force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred; or

(3) The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.

When people feel threatened or even see another being threatened, sometimes the reaction is to use force to defend and occasionally, deadly force. There are situations where the use of deadly force is justified, and the accused will not be charged with a crime. However, Mr. Barnhill this is not the case.

According to Barnhill, “Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael, and William Bryan were in “hot pursuit of a burglary suspect with solid first-hand probable cause,” which he indicated was Ahmaud Arbery. When the men caught up with Ahmaud, the question remains is if they reasonably believed he was the alleged suspected burglar and that he was indeed a threat to them and others to justify using deadly force? And if so, why didn’t they contact the police? However, according to the video footage, it is apparent that Travis, Greg, and William decided to break the law and apprehend someone who they falsely accused of burglary. District Attorney George Barnhill tried to cover it up by giving bogus justification that was contrary to the law he used as an excuse not to charge the two men of murder. It makes you wonder, What would be talking about if that video never surfaced?? How many other cases have Barnhill and his office covered up?

LIE vs the Truth

Lie: In the letter, Barnhill said he believed Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, were trying to stop and hold Arbery until police officers arrived. He said, “It appears they intended to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived.”

Truth: According to the police report, Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael told police they believed Arbery was the person committing burglaries in their neighborhood, Satilla Shores. When they saw him running past their home on a Sunday afternoon, they grabbed their guns and went after him.

Lie: Barnhill said in his letter, the father, son, and William Bryan, the man in the car recording the shooting, were chasing Arbery after they say he committed a crime.

Truth: There was no crime committed in the area during the time that the three men alleged a burglary happen that resembled Ahmaud Arbery.

Moments later, there was a struggle, and Arbery was shot three times…..

Lie: Barnhill said the fight was over the gun. He said, “Given the fact Arbery initiated the fight, at the point Arbery grabbed the shotgun, under Georgia Law, McMichael was allowed to use deadly force to protect himself.”

Truth: Video footage contradicts the statement that Arbery initiated the fight. The video shows Arbery dodging a pick-up truck from hitting him and Travis McMichael getting out the vehicle with a shotgun perusing Arbery.

Lie: Barnhill said, “Arbery’s mental health and prior convictions help explain his apparent aggressive nature and his possible thought pattern to attack an armed man.”
Truth: According to Action News Jax, who looked into Arbery’s criminal history, contradicts Barnhill’s statement. Arbery’s record didn’t include any violent offenses. Action News Jax also contacted Arbery’s attorney, and he said Arbery did not have a history of mental issues.

Barnhill’s entire letter is based on the presumption that Arbery was in a criminal act before he was chased down, which was a lie!
In my opinion, Barnhill should never be allowed to serve another day as District Attorney or as a Prosecutor.

Having a District Attorney like Barnhill is the exact reason why African Americans and all others who believe in justice need to vote. Waycross, Georgia deserves better.

Daniel Banguel, Publisher

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