Slain jogger’s mum sues for $13 million

The mother of slain black jogger Ahmaud Arbery has filed a $US10 million ($A13 million) federal lawsuit on the one-year anniversary of her son’s death, accusing authorities in Georgia of trying to cover up the killing.

Wanda Cooper said in papers filed in the Southern District of Georgia that prosecutors botched the case into her son’s death for months after he was allegedly chased down and shot by three white men, including a former police officer.

The lawsuit names the three men – Gregory McMichael, his son Travis, and William “Roddie” Bryan – as well as prosecutors and police officers and officials in Glynn County.

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“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 says.

“And none of this would have been discovered but for video footage leaked to the media, which showed the horrific and brutal murder of Ahmaud,” the suit says. “Two days after the video was released to the public and drew national attention and outrage, law enforcement finally arrested [the defendants].”

Mr Arbery, 25, was jogging through the Georgia neighbourhood on February 23, 2020, when the McMichaels allegedly jumped into a pick-up truck and chased him down – claiming they believed him to be a burglary suspect.

Mr Bryan is accused of jumping into his truck and joining the chase, and allegedly hitting Mr Arbery with the vehicle to try to trap him, according to police.

When the McMichaels cut off Mr Arbery, Travis McMichael got out of the truck with a shotgun and allegedly shot Mr Arbery after a brief struggle.

The case sat dormant for months, with two local prosecutors – Brunswick County District Attorney Jackie Johnson and Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill – declining to file charges in the case.

Gregory McMichael is a former Glynn County police officer and worked as an investigator in Johnson’s office in Brunswick County.

Mr Bryan filmed the chase and fatal encounter on his mobile phone. When the video was leaked to the public the case drew widespread outrage.

State prosecutors then moved in and took over the case, charging all three men, who are awaiting trial on murder charges in the case.

The federal lawsuit seeks a total of $US10 million ($A13 million) in damages.

This story was originally published on the New York Post and is republished here with permission

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