SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – On the anniversary of Ahmaud Arbery‘s death, a federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against the three men accused of his murder.
Filed by the attorney of Wanda Cooper, Arbery’s mother, the lawsuit also claims that prosecutors and law officers attempted to cover up and delay justice in the case.
“For nearly three months, Glynn County police officers, the chief of police, and two prosecutors conspired to hide the circumstances surrounding Ahmaud’s death and to protect the men who murdered him,” the complaint reads. “And none of this would have been discovered but for video footage leaked to the media.”
Video of the shooting surfaced on May 5 last year, sparking demands for justice in Arbery’s death.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation then took over the case and arrested Travis McMichael, his father, Greg McMichael, and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan.
Police say the men trapped Arbery on a Brunswick roadway while he was jogging through their neighborhood. The McMichaels say they stopped Arbery believing he may have been linked to recent thefts.
The confrontation led to Arbery being shot three times by Travis McMichael. His attorney says he feared for his life.
The lawsuit claims District Attorney Jackie Johnson, who knew Gregory McMichael personally, urged law enforcement to not make any arrests.
Greg McMichael was a retired investigator with the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office. Johnson later recused herself from the case.
The lawsuit alleges District Attorney George Barnhill issued a letter slandering Ahmaud’s name to justify the murder. Barnhill also later recused himself from the case.
Cooper is seeking $1 million in damages.