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3 men indicted on murder charges in killing of Ahmaud Arbery

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A Georgia grand jury has indicted three men in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was pursued and shot dead as he jogged through a Brunswick neighborhood in February. Cobb District Attorney Joyette Holmes announced the nine-count indictment Wednesday.

The indictment charges Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan with malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.  

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Ahmaud Arbery’s killing, captured on a disturbing video, drew a national outcry. Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, who are white, told police they chased Arbery because they thought he was a burglary suspect and acted in self-defense during a confrontation. Two and a half months passed before they were charged with murder and aggravated assault, shortly after the state began investigating and the video became public. Authorities say the third man charged in the case, Bryan, boxed Arbery in with his truck. 

It was Bryan who filmed Arbery’s death on his cellphone. An investigator later testified that Bryan said he heard Travis McMichael using a racial slur as Arbery lay dying. 

Though the Georgia legislature on Tuesday passed a hate crimes bill that would allow prosecutors to seek enhanced sentencing for those convicted of targeting a victim because of their race, Holmes said the bill is not retroactive and can’t be applied to Arbery’s case. The bill has been passed to Georgia governor Brian Kemp, who said he intends to sign it pending a legal review.

L-R: Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan were charged with murder in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia.GLYNN COUNTY DETENTION CENTER VIA AP/ WJAX

“If this bill were signed prior to the incident, then it might be something we’d be able to look at in this case,” Holmes said.

While states are the primary prosecutors of hate crimes, the federal government also has the authority to bring charges under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The Department of Justice can act as a “backstop” to prosecute hate crimes in states without the statutes or where state laws don’t cover the crime. The Department of Justice has said it is reviewing the Arbery case to determine whether federal hate crime charges are appropriate. It’s also weighing a request by the Attorney General of Georgia to investigate the conduct of the first two district attorneys assigned to the case. They recused themselves amid questions over their links to Gregory McMichael, a former law enforcement officer, and handling of the case. 
 
Bryan has maintained his innocence, and lawyers for Gregory McMichael say they have information that points to “a very different narrative” that will be revealed in court.

Holmes said Arbery’s family was “ecstatic” to learn of the grand jury indictment. 

“This is another step forward in seeking justice for Ahmaud,” Holmes said. 

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City of Vallejo Releases New Information in Willie McCoy Death

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The city of Vallejo released new information Wednesday regarding the shooting death of a Black man in February of 2019.

New body camera footage shows the moments leading up to the death of local rapper Willie McCoy who had fallen asleep in the drive-thru of a Taco Bell.

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According to new reports, 55 bullets were fired by Vallejo officers, 38 of which struck him.

The police chief is calling for at least one officer to be fired. That officer opened fire “after” five of his colleagues were already shooting.

Officers claim McCoy had a gun in his lap. He was 20 years old.

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Husband of L.A. County DA Jackie Lacey facing multiple charges after pointing a gun at BLM protesters

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The husband of Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey is facing multiple misdemeanor charges in connection with a March incident in which he waved a gun at protesters outside his Granada Hills home, a law enforcement official told the Los Angeles Times.

The California attorney general’s office, which was investigating the matter due to the conflict of interest for local prosecutors, made the decision to bring charges earlier this week, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation.

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David Lacey is being charged with three counts of assault with a firearm, according to a charging document obtained by Politico.

The chaotic scene unfolded on March 2, when protesters affiliated with Black Lives Matter L.A. and other local organizations descended on Lacey’s Granada Hills home for a pre-dawn protest. Several of the demonstrators knocked on Lacey’s door, and her husband answered brandishing a handgun.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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Gary Patterson apologizes for repeating racial slur

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Head coach Gary Patterson issued an apology Tuesday on Twitter after several players walked out of practice the day before.

Patterson met with seniors and the leadership council Monday night about how to move forward as a team.

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In his tweet, Patterson said, “I apologize for the use of a word that, in any context, is unacceptable. I have always encouraged our players to do better and be better and I must live by the same standards.”

Senior center Kelton Hollins, who was present at the meeting with Patterson, said in a tweet the team’s leadership told Patterson the slur is unacceptable in any context.

Football players skip practice to protest Gary Patterson’s use of racial slur

Head coach Gary Patterson is expected to apologize tonight at a meeting with team leadership for his use of the N-word during Sunday’s practice, Chancellor Victor Boschini said in an email to TCU 360.

TCU head coach Gary Patterson observes practice. (Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.)

The matter became public Monday after multiple players took to social media to complain about his actions.

Boschini said Patterson, “did not use the word against any individual, or group for that matter, on the team.”

“He said it trying to ask the players not to use it anymore,” Boschini said. “He has since apologized for doing so in this manner and said it was a teachable moment for him and many others.”

Redshirt freshman linebacker Dylan Jordan tweeted Monday that Patterson used the slur while chastising Jordan during practice. His tweet prompted a series of back and forth tweets from players criticizing or defending Patterson.

According to Jordan’s tweet, Patterson confronted Jordan at practice regarding a social media post about his girlfriend on National Girlfriend Day.

Jordan tweeted that Patterson said Jordan should have asked for permission before making the post. Patterson then complained about Jordan’s use of a racial slur in the locker room, but in doing so, Patterson repeated the slur.

On Monday, Jordan also tweeted that several players refused to go to practice in protest of Patterson’s language. Patterson then came into the locker room to speak to the players and again said the word while explaining he was not using it to directly refer to Jordan.

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