Jurors see gruesome police photos of Ahmaud Arbery’s injuries


Jurors in Georgia courtroom are shown close-up crime scene photos of the gunshot wounds that killed Ahmaud Arbery

BRUNSWICK, Georgia – Jurors on Monday saw close-up police photos of the gunshot wounds that killed Ahmaud Arbery, while the first officer to find the 25-year-old black man bleeding on the road stated that he had not tried to make a medical examination. help because it wouldn’t have been safe.

Three white men are on trial for murder and other crimes in the murder of Arbery, who was prosecuted and shot on February 23, 2020, after being spotted running in a neighborhood just outside the port city of Brunswick .

Glynn County Police Sgt. Sheila Ramos presented the jury with dozens of crime scene photos she took about an hour after the shooting. Several jurors could be seen squirming as Ramos showed Arbery’s body lying in the street under a bloodstained blanket. Other images showed close-up views of the gunshot wounds to the wrist as well as serious injuries to the chest and under one of his arms.

Ricky Minshew, then a Glynn County Police Patrol Officer, said he arrived at the scene in the Satilla Shores Subdivision about a minute after the shots rang out. Arbery was lying face down in the street with a pool of blood spreading around him.

Minshew said he heard Arbery make a noise which he described as a “death rattle”. The officer radioed 911 operators to send emergency medical responders, but said he didn’t have the training or equipment to deal with such serious injuries.

“Without having other police units backing me up, there was no way I could switch to something medical while still being vigilant about my own safety,” Minshew said.

Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael armed themselves and used a van to chase Arbery after seeing him running around their neighborhood. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and filmed Travis McMichael on his cell phone shooting Arbery in the street at close range.

No arrests were made for more than two months, until video of the murder leaked online and sparked a nationwide outcry, deepening the nation’s judgment on racial injustice. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation took the matter over to the local police. McMichaels and Bryan were quickly charged with murder and other crimes.

Defense attorneys said the men were justified in prosecuting and attempting to detain Arbery because he had been recorded by security cameras inside a nearby house under construction and they suspected he was a robber. They say Travis McMichael fired in self-defense when Arbery attacked him with punches and attempted to grab his gun.

Arbery’s mother told reporters outside the courthouse that she was unsure why more had not been done to help her critically injured son.

“He had a guy lying on the road that was covered in blood,” Wanda Cooper-Jones said. “I don’t understand why he didn’t help.”

Cooper-Jones remained in the courtroom as the graphic photos were displayed and she could be heard exhale softly as Ramos identified close-up images of a gaping gunshot wound in his son’s chest. Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery Sr., stood up and walked out before the jury saw the footage.

The second officer to respond to the shooting, William Duggan, testified on Friday and jurors watched portions of his body camera video in which Duggan knocked down Arbery and pressed a hand to his injured chest.

“I was under pressure, but there was nothing I could do,” Duggan told other first responders on the video, saying Arbery died after about two minutes.

Ramos said Arbery had nothing in his pockets – no keys, cell phone, wallet or ID. Police identified her body using her fingerprints, she said.

She also photographed a house near the shooting scene where one of the shotgun blasts sent a projectile through a front window and into an interior wall. No one at home was injured.

The jury sitting on Friday for the trial is disproportionately white. Prosecutors complained at the end of jury selection last week that several potential black jurors had been excluded because of their race, leaving only one black juror on the panel of 12.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley said he had found that “intentional discrimination” by defense lawyers appeared to have shaped jury selection. But he said Georgian law limited his power to intervene.

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