A Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent testified Thursday that Travis McMichael, the man who shot and killed 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, used a racial slur immediately after killing Arbery.
The GBI agent said the information came from William Bryan, the man who chased Arbery along with the McMichaels and recorded the incident. CNN reported:
GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Dial testified that Bryan told police Travis McMichael said "f***ing n*****" after three blasts from his shotgun left Arbery dead in the street in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in February. Body camera footage also showed a Confederate flag sticker on the toolbox of McMichael's truck, he said.
On cross-examination, Dial testified Bryan mentioned the slur in a May 13 GBI interview, and to Dial's knowledge, Bryan had not previously made the allegation, including during a May 11 interview.
Dial said there were "numerous" other instances of McMichael using racial slurs online, including a message in which he said he liked his job because there "weren't any N-words anywhere."
The testimony also revealed more about the chase that led to Arbery's killing. Dial said that as Travis and Gregory McMichael tried to block Arbery, Bryan hit Arbery with the side of his truck. There is a dent near the truck bed near some cotton fibers from Arbery's clothes, and a palm print on the rear door.
"I believe Mr. Arbery was being pursued, and he ran till he couldn't run anymore, and it was turn his back to a man with a shotgun or fight with his bare hands against the man with the shotgun. He chose to fight," Dial testified. "I believe Mr. Arbery's decision was to just try to get away, and when he felt like he could not escape he chose to fight."
Gregory McMichael told police immediately after the shooting that they chased Arbery based on a "gut feeling" that Arbery had stolen something, not based on any evidence. The McMichaels have been charged with murder and aggravated assault, and Bryan has been charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.