It took me some time before I watched the video. I don’t take pleasure in these sorts of things, but as the story grew, I wanted to be informed.
What happened to Ahmaud Arbery is a tragedy, and should be treated as such.
In a video that was released, Arbery was walking down the road and entered a home under construction. The video shows him walking down the street, stopping in front of a house, then entering/exiting the home.
A neighbor appears on the video and is making a 911 call, and then it would appear the McMichaels get in their truck and give chase.
A second video shows him inside the home, apparently looking around. The released portion of this is a short clip of what is said to be a more extended recording.
At this time, I don’t know what Arbery was doing in the construction site or if he stole anything.
Those actions don’t hold much weight in this conversation. Arbery should still be alive today, and his actions did not warrant his death.
The McMichaels claim they were attempting to conduct a citizens’ arrest; they wanted to take the law into their own hands. Georgia law allows this, in certain conditions.
They were not defending themselves, their families, or their property.
The McMichaels jumped into their truck, brandishing their firearms, and chased after an individual whom they had no evidence, as far as we know, of committing a crime other than trespassing.
I practice my second amendment rights and regularly carry a firearm. It is a great responsibility to carry a tool whose purpose is to end the life of another.
I’m responsible for following the laws. I’m responsible for each bullet. While in public, my firearm does not leave its holster.
I’ve been in two situations where I’ve nearly drawn, both involved canines. Even then, I couldn’t bring myself to draw and fire.
I go out of my way to ensure I don’t enter situations where I may have to draw. My CCW trainer, a former officer, ingrained in me that it is partly my responsibility to not put myself, knowingly, in such a circumstance.
But had I been in Arbery’s shoes and came up to a truck with two individuals brandishing their firearms and even pointing them at me, I would have likely drawn and fired.
Had I been in the McMichaels’ shoes, believing that Arbery had committed a crime, I would have gotten into my truck and followed Arbery while calling 911.
I did something similar with a drunk driver. I called 911, followed the vehicle, but kept my distance and went on my way once an officer arrived.
I didn’t try to stop the driver. I didn’t try to push them off the side of the road. I didn’t make the engagement more dangerous than it already was.
Had Arbery entered the McMichaels’ home while they were there, this would be a different story.
Had Arbery been also brandishing a firearm and pointed it at the McMichaels or others, this would have been a different story.
But this wasn’t the case. At best, the grossly negligent actions of the McMichaels led to Arbery’s death. At worse, the McMichaels retaliated against a black man “snooping” around their neighborhood and practiced mob rule to ensure it didn’t happen again.
Regardless, the McMichaels overreacted when they should have practiced personal restraint. A man is dead because of their actions.
There was no threat to life, and they should have kept their firearms put away and let an officer handle the situation.