Update: on May 8, 2020, George and Travis McMichael were arrested and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.
The video is clear. It is disorienting in its clarity. And you wonder, for a moment, if this is a found-footage film, something like a cross between Get Out and The Blair Witch Project. But it is real. That is the disorienting part. It is real. It would not be real to us unless we saw it; the truth would be obfuscated if not for the footage.
Watching it, even thinking about it now, I feel sick. Fear sick, with my heart palpitating. I want to outrun it, the trembling, the bile rising. When I first learned of what they did, anger enveloped my brain. It happens every time I first learn of what they do. An anger like smoke concealing and signaling the scope of a wildfire.
And then it dissipates. It burns off to reveal what remains after such a fire. Cold knowledge. Absolute certainty.
They hunted Ahmaud Arbery down and killed him.
They hunted Ahmaud Arbery as though he were a deer and shot him like was less than a deer.
They ran Ahmaud Arbery down and blasted a shotgun at his chest.
They filmed the killing of Ahmaud Arbery with the intention to use as evidence that would necessitate the use of vigilante murder.
They enacted their posse fantasy of hunting and murdering a man in broad daylight.
They went home and put away their guns and went to sleep. They slept knowing their killing of Ahmaud Arbery would bear no consequences, because the law that reflected them protected them.
They are still at home, with their guns, and will sleep in their beds tonight. They will sleep knowing the prosecution could have pressed charges but lobbed it to a grand jury, because the law that reflects them protects them.
They are not sorry for murdering Ahmaud Arbery. They are not remorseful for murdering a mother’s love. They are not sorry for depriving a man of his life. Their right to run a man down in their trucks, with their guns raised, obliterates their empathy.
The murder of Ahmaud Arbery happened February 23, 2020. The police declined to make any arrests. The prosecution declined to…