Gregory McMichael, one of two suspects arrested in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, played a role in publicly releasing video of the Georgia shooting that sparked nationwide protests, NBC News confirmed Saturday.
Alan Tucker, an attorney in Brunswick, Georgia, told NBC News that McMichael wanted "the public to know the truth," and Tucker contacted a local radio DJ.
Tucker, who said he has known McMichael for nearly 30 years in a professional capacity, downloaded the video onto a thumb drive that McMichael “physically” delivered to the station, he said. Tucker did not say when he contacted the DJ nor when the video was delivered, but it became public about two weeks ago.
The news of McMichael’s involvement was first reported by Atlanta station WSB-TV.
“[Greg] wanted the public to know the truth," Tucker said in a text message to NBC News. "That he and his son were not white supremacists driving in a pick-up truck with a confederate flag in the back who shot a black man in the back because he was jogging in a white neighborhood.
“He hoped the public would see them trying to make a citizen’s arrest on a young man that was running from a home under construction – that he had been seen in at night on several occasions while he plundered around on the owner’s security camera.”
Arbery was shot to death on Feb. 23 in Brunswick — a coastal city about midway between Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida — after being followed by Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, his son, in their pickup truck. The McMichaels are white and Arbery was black.
According to a police report, the senior McMichael told officers they pursued Arbery because they thought he was a burglary suspect.McMichael told officers Arbery “began to violently attack” Travis, who fired because the two “started fighting over the shotgun,” according to the police report.
The shooting triggered a national outcry and claims by presidential hopeful Joe Biden and others that Arbery's death was a modern-day lynching.
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