Cops at the scene of the Georgia shooting had believed they had probable cause to make arrests, Glynn County Commissioner Peter Murphy told The Atlanta Journal constitution (AJC) — but were told to stand down by the DA’s office.
Two Glynn County commissioners say District Attorney Jackie Johnson’s office refused to allow the Glynn County Police Department to make arrests immediately after the Feb. 23 shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.
Commissioner Peter Murphy and Allen Booker accused DA Jackie Johnson of being in cohoots with Gregory McMichael because they were friends, Gregory previously worked with her as an investigator.
“They spoke to an assistant, who relayed their request to [Glynn County District Attorney] Jackie Johnson,” Murphy told the paper of the cops at the scene.
“They were told not to make the arrest.”
“She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael,” a second county commissioner, Allen Booker.
Johnson recused herself from the case entirely a few days after the shooting, Booker said.
The delay, cohoot and attempted cover up or sweeping under the carpet did not only rest on DA Jackie Johnson but also on the DA that took over from her, George E. Barnhill.
Barnhill held a view that the McMichaels were justified and acted according to the law and he expressed this in a letter to captain Tom Jump of Glynn County police department.
“As to the case at hand: It is my professional belief the autopsy confirmswhatwehad already viewed as shown in the video tape, with the photographs & from the witness statements taken immediately atthe scene . The autopsy supports the initial opinion we gave you on February 24th, 2020 atthe briefingroom in the Glynn County Police Department after reviewing the evidence you had at that time. Wedo notsee grounds for an arrest of any of the three parties”
So, perhaps, it is not surprising that there was no arrest or murder charges brought against the McMichaels until May 7th, 73 days after the fatal shooting, thanks to the two DAs.
Following mounting pressure from notable personalities around the country and protests held in honour of AHMAUD ARBERY, it took the intervention of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden who took over the case from Barnhill to request the arrest of the McMichaels and place William “Roddie” Bryan, the man who recorded the video on investigation.