New texts reveal that the Glynn County police recommended that the owner of the property at the center of the Ahmaud Arbery shooting contact Greg McMichael whenever he “got action on his camera.”
Greg McMichael, 64, and his son 34-year-old Travis McMichael were charged with felony murder and aggravated assault recently after the release of video footage that shows the two men ambushing 25-year-old Arbery and fatally shooting him in February.
On the day of Arbery’s murder, one of the McMichaels called 911 to say Arbery had been running by a property under construction that is owned by Larry English. The property had a motion-activated camera system that had picked up unknown people going onto the site, and English often called police and texted the videos to them according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
After one of those episodes on Dec. 17, English received a text reply a few days later from a Glynn County officer alerting him that McMichael lived nearby and had offered to help.
“Greg is retired Law Enforcement and also a Retired Investigator from the DA’s office,” Officer Robert Rash texted on Dec. 20, offering McMichael’s phone number. “He said please call him day or night when you get action on your camera.”
Both the Glynn County Police Department and Brunswick District Attorney’s office have been under a spotlight for initially declining to arrest or file charges against the McMichaels despite having video footage of Arbery being pursued and then shot by the two white men. The elder McMichael used to work for both departments before his retirement.
Elizabeth Graddy, the lawyer representing the property owner, told AJC that English never enlisted McMichael’s help and did not call the police on the day Arbery was killed not far from the construction site.
English has told police nothing was ever taken from the property, records show. Graddy said English never enlisted Greg McMichael’s help. English was two hours away, tending to bee hives near his home in Coffee County, the day of the fatal shooting.
“He didn’t even remember receiving the text,” said Graddy, who said it was discovered in recent days as she was gathering information to assist her client. She said English has had serious medical issues in the past several months and hasn’t been to the construction property much this year.
“I don’t want it to be put out and misused and misinterpreted for people to think that I had accused Mr. Arbery of stealing or robbery because I never did,” English said last week.
Meanwhile, neither the officer who sent the text in response to English nor the Glenn County Police Department have said why they directed the property owner to call McMichael whenever he saw “action,” aka human beings, on the motion-sensor camera.
“If anybody was going to stop this from happening it was law enforcement,” S. S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for Arbery’s family told AJC in response to the texts. “Instead, they encouraged it.”