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Allegations of Misconduct in Arbery Case

ABC’s Good Morning America contacted Attorney Page Pate to discuss the Ahmaud Arbery case in Brunswick, Georgia. The interview focused on recent developments in this case and prior allegations of misconduct against the Glynn County Police Department and the Brunswick District Attorney’s Office.

Page comments that he thinks “this particular department has always tried to protect its own and sometimes to the detriment of not just the system itself, but to the cause of justice here in Glynn County.”

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Eva: Now to the latest in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the unarmed black man shot to death in Georgia. Hundreds of people rallying to demand changes after it took two months to charge two white suspects. ABC’s Zachary Keyes joins us now with more. Good morning Zachary.

Zachary: Good morning to you as well, Eva. You know, this story is really broadening beyond just Ahmaud Arbery and the McMichaels on some level. And shedding a light on the entire police department, one that has been saddled by allegations of corruption for years.

Overnight protests taking over the streets of South Georgia, hundred seeking justice and the resignation of two county prosecutors following the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.

A Georgia district attorney initially said the killing Arbery, unarmed black jogger, was justified under Georgia law. For 74 days Travis McMichael and his father Greg, a former cop and investigator, walked free. But this morning WSBTV reporting that Greg McMichael shared this video with a friend and asked it to be released publicly, because he thought it vindicated them. After public outcry, the two men were arrested and charged with murder. The McMichaels contend they were trying to protect the neighborhood, and told police they were making a citizen’s arrest, though there’s no evidence Arbery committed any crime.

Two county commissioners said the DA’s office blocked the police department from arresting the McMichaels following the shooting. District Attorney Jackie Johnson has denied this allegation. This, as there are growing calls for the Glynn county police to be disbanded.

Page Pate: I think this particular department has always tried to protect its own and sometimes to the detriment of not just the system itself, but to the cause of justice here in Glynn County.

Zachary: Troubling allegations surrounding the department unrelated to Arbery’s killing are under renewed spotlight. Accusations including witness tampering and a sex scandal with drug informants.

In March, several officers were indicted and the Police Chief was placed on administrative leave after being charged with perjury. Glynn County Commission Chairman said the indictments are not reflective of the police department.

Brad Schrade: The law enforcement and the judicial system down there, the legal system, has faced a lot of questions for many, many years about the way they conduct business and the way they mete out justice.

Zachary: Now lawmakers in the state will vote on a measure that would allow residents in the state of Georgia to completely disband this police department and merge sources with the County Sheriff. Whit?

Whit: So a lot of questions, and a big case. Zachary Keys for us. Thank you.