A new report says that a Georgia police officer told the neighborhood that the man charged with shooting and killing Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed jogger, was an “unofficial” neighborhood watchdog.
What the heck is an unofficial neighborhood watchdog? Can you be arrested by an unofficial police officer? Can you be tried by an unofficial court? Will an unofficial fire department put out fires in the neighborhood? There’s something that doesn’t smell right.
“Your neighbor,” he said, “is Greg McMichael. Greg is retired Law Enforcement and also a Retired Investigator from the DA’s office,” a Glynn County, Georgia police officer allegedly advised a resident who had in turn alerted the officer to a possible break-in.
In the real world, and unofficial neighborhood watchdog is a vigilante who thinks he has the police department’s blessing to act like cop, judge, jury and executioner if need be.
“McMichael said please call him day or night when you get action on your camera,” the officer informed homeowner Larry English in a text message verified by English’s lawyer, according to a screenshot of the message obtained by TMZ. English listed the cop in his phone as “Officer Rash.”
It just so happens that the construction site that Arbery, who is seen on security video entering the property on February 23rd, was English’s site. Apparently, Arbery went onto the property right before McMichael and his son Travis, ages 64 and 34 respectively, chased after him and eventually shot the 25-year old dead.
The loss of life of the young black man in the conservative South at the hands of a longtime local law enforcement officer and his son, who happen to be white, ignited a racially charged debate when their arrests had been delayed for over two months. The arrests were delayed, because the District Attorney, a Democrat, sat on the case.
The McMichaels have stated they confronted Arbery as a result of they believed he was a burglary suspect. Even so, you don’t shoot a burglary suspect who is unarmed. Arbery did not look like a guy who could take on both of these men. There was no reason to shoot him. We’ll keep covering this story as more details unfold.
WARNING: This video is VIOLENT. Do not allow children to view it.
There have been many comments made that the young man fought with the two chasers, but the video shows otherwise. I’ve watched it over a dozen times, and it looks to me like Arbery went around the truck to the other side of where the shooter was standing to avoid him, when hear the first shot. The scuffle then ensued, but I believe the scuffle was simply Arbery trying to get the front of the rifle to not be pointing at him. Watching the third and fatal shot reveals that Arbery was trying to defend himself in a sudden moment of panic. Anyone who gets shot at is in panic mode. The shooter was the bigger and obviously stronger man, and there was no need to shoot. That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.
Rich is syndicated opinion columnist for David Harris Jr., The Range, Illicit Info and other online publications. “Raised under Reagan, suffered under Clinton”