On 23 February Ahmaud Arbery, a young black man, was shot dead by two white men in Brunswick, Georgia. But it was only when a 36-second video of the killing was leaked on 5 May, generating nationwide outcry, that three men were charged with his murder. Why did it take so long?
Ahmaud Arbery was shot on 23 February when Gregory and Travis McMichael, a white father and son, pursued Arbery after spotting him running in their neighbourhood. Gregory McMichael told police he suspected Arbery, who is black, was a burglar and that Arbery attacked his son before being shot. But a video of the incident, leaked on 5 May, showed a different encounter. The two men were arrested and last week William “Roddie” Bryan Jr, 50, who had filmed the incident, was also arrested.
A second video, uncovered by Guardian US reporter Sam Levine, shows police attempting to use a Taser on Arbery, after questioning why he was sitting alone in his car in a park one morning in November 2017. Anushka Asthana talks to Sam about what the videos tell us about the systemic harassment of young black men in America and to Guardian US reporter Khushbu Shah about why it took so long for these arrests to take place. Law enforcement in the area is facing heavy scrutiny for the handling of the case. A local prosecutor recommended not bringing charges against the McMichaels in April before recusing himself from the case. She also talks to lawyer L Chris Stewart, who is representing Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones, about the case and what it tells us about race in America.