The mother of the late Ahmaud Arbery wants both Gregory and Travis McMichael to serve life in prison. The father-son pair were caught on video fatally shooting 25-year-old Arbery on Feb. 24 while he was jogging near his neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia, claiming that he'd fit a description of a burglar seen in the area. Speaking with TMZ, Wanda Cooper-Jones spoke frankly about the outcome she's hoping for.
"We want all parties involved to go to prison for life," Cooper-Jones said. She added that she thinks her son's legal team believes that the videographer, William "Roddie" Bryan was also involved in the killing, though he has since denied these claims. He also hasn't provided authorities with an explanation as to why he had video of the shooting. Arbery family attorney, Lee Merritt wants all three of the men involved arrested and "appropriately sentenced."
Merritt told the outlet that Bryan should be prosecuted "because he actively participated in the ambush according to previous statements by the McMichaels" and "because our forensic expert says that he was likely holding and brandishing a firearm." This also includes the Glynn Country Police Department, who initially failed to investigate the killing or make any arrests. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has taken over the case in the wake of the video going viral, leading to widespread calls for action.
While the shooting took place in February, the McMichaels were eventually arrested on Thursday, following the GBI's involvement. "Our goal in every investigation is to seek the truth," GBI Director Vic Reynolds told reporters Wednesday. "And that's exactly what we intend on doing in this matter. I realize that emotions are running high in this community, and they're running high throughout the state, and the last thing anyone wants to do is extend us any patience. But I also realize that this investigation must be done correctly, and therefore I must ask for a little of your patience."
While the arrest appeased Arbery's family, they were vocally unhappy over the fact that it took several weeks before authorities took action. "They did not arrest the killers of Ahmaud Arbery because they saw the video," Ben Crump, another Arbery family attorney, told the Associated Press. "They arrested the killers of Ahmaud Arbery because we saw the video, the public saw the video, and it went viral. It was shocking. People were astonished."