85ºF

Georgia congressmen ask Barr to assist Arbery investigation

In this March 22, 2019 file photo, an American flag flies outside the Department of Justice in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
In this March 22, 2019 file photo, an American flag flies outside the Department of Justice in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ATLANTA – All of Georgia’s lawmakers in the U.S. House asked Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday to involve the Justice Department in investigations of the slaying of Ahmaud Arbery as well as potential misconduct by local authorities who took more than two months to bring charges in the case.

All 14 members of the Georgia delegation, Republicans and Democrats, signed the letter addressed to Barr and Eric Dreiband, the assistant attorney general over the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Arbery was fatally shot Feb. 23 by a white father and son who pursued the 25-year-old black man after spotting him running in their subdivision just outside the port city of Brunswick. More than two months passed before Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, were arrested May 7 on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault.

“Across our state, our constituents are increasingly alarmed as we learn additional details about the case and its handling,” the Georgia lawmakers wrote. “For these reasons, we believe a full investigation, with robust Federal support, is warranted.”

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, a Republican, has also asked the Justice Department for a federal investigation.

Gregory McMichael told police after the shooting that he suspected Arbery was a burglar. He also said Arbery attacked his son before being shot. Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, has said she believes her son was merely out jogging.