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The sister of the Georgia man accused of fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery admitted to posting bloody pictures of Arbery’s body to her Snapchat, but said she posted the pictures because she was a “true crime fan.”
Lindsay McMichael, 30, told The Sun she posted the image with “no nefarious or malicious” intent after coming outside to the scene of Arbery's shooting near her family’s Georgia home.
“The thing is I’m a huge fan of true crime—I listen to four or five podcasts a week—I’m constantly watching that sort of thing,” she said. “It was more of a, ‘Holy s--t, I can’t believe this happened.”
She later admitted that posting the graphic image was “absolutely poor judgment.”
Arbery.25, was shot to death Feb.23 as he was running down the road of a Georgia neighborhood and was stopped by Gregory McMichael—a retired investigator for the Brunswick district attorney’s office and former police officer—and his son, Travis McMichael. Both of the McMichaels were armed.
Video released to the media—seemingly by Gregory McMichael himself—after the fatal shooting shows Arbery trying to pass a white truck stopped along the road, when a shot is fired and Arbery can be seen struggling with a man believed to be Travis McMichael before he stumbles and falls to the ground.
An autopsy report obtained by Oxygen.com revealed Arbery died of two close gunshot wounds to the chest. Another bullet also grazed his right wrist.
Lee Merritt, the Arbery family’s attorney, has said Gregory and Travis McMichael, who are both facing murder charges after the incident, had been chasing Arbery for more than four minutes before he was shot and killed, Fox News reports.
Arbery’s family has said he was out jogging at the time of the fatal shooting and was unarmed.
Gregory McMichael told authorities he believed Arbery had been burglarizing a property under construction in the area and had been trying to detain him until police could arrive.
Surveillance footage showed a man who appeared to be Arbery inside the construction site shortly before the shooting.
Although Arbery was shot to death in February, no arrests were made in the case until the video of the shooting surfaced, sparking outrage across the nation.
“No family should wait 10 weeks for an arrest,” Merritt told Fox News. “That was extremely exhausting for the family. They began to lose hope.”
Merritt also called the photos of Arbery’s dead body posted on Snapchat by Lindsay McMichael “very disturbing” to Arbery’s family.
“It actually fits in with the pattern of the McMichael family engaging in a weird, violent form of voyeurism,” he told The Sun. “First you have [Gregory] McMichael sharing with the news station a video of the murder and then you have his daughter sharing an image of Ahmaud’s bullet-ridden body on Snapchat. It’s deeply disturbing behavior.”
Lindsay McMichael told The Sun she doesn’t believe her father or brother “meant to kill anybody.”
On the day Arbery was shot to death, Lindsay McMichael said she had been watching a movie in her pajamas with her mother. After hearing the commotion outside, she said she ran out to discover her father, brother and Arbery, who was laying on the ground.
Lindsay described the look on Travis’s face at the time as “very desperate.”
“I’ve seen my brother in his happiest moments—I was there when his child was born and I’ve seen him in distress and I know that look … It wasn’t like some glory thing, like ‘I stalked and then got the kill that I was hoping for,’” she said.
She believes “things just escalated so fast” and that there was “no intention of malice” behind the shooting.
She told The Sun her family had always “loved” her non-white boyfriends.
In the weeks since the video of the shooting surfaced in the media, Lindsay said she and her mom have received graphic messages from people threatening to rape and kill them.
“We’re not the ones on trial here—my dad and my brother are and yes I don’t think that they were beating the hood of the truck and saying, ‘Let’s go get this person.’ I think that things just really escalated,” she said, adding that the family is not “monsters.”
Attorneys for Travis McMichael have declined to discuss specific details of the case, but urged the public not to jump to any conclusions in the case.
“We know that there are strong opinions, we know there is anger, we know there is outrage,” Attorney Jason Sheffield said according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Right now we are starting at the end. We know the ending. What we don’t know is the beginning. In this case the entire nation is investigating. We will find the truth and we will bring that truth out, not here but in the courtroom.”
Earlier this week, The Guardian also uncovered footage from a 2017 incident in which police tried to tase Arbery after they found him sitting in his car at a park.
The video, obtained by the outlet through a public records request, shows an officer accusing Arbery of using marijuana after telling him that the park was known for that kind of activity.
Arbery told the officer he didn't have any drugs and refused to let him search his car. He said he was in the park because he had the day off of work and had been relaxing by rapping in his car.
“You’re bothering me for nothing,” Arbery told Officer Michael Kanago in the body camera footage.
Kanago later said he felt threatened by Arbery because “veins were popping from [Arbery’s] chest, which made me feel that he was becoming enraged and may turn physically violent towards me,” and decided to request help from a second officer.
Officer David Haney arrived a short time later and yelled at Arbery to take his hands out of his pockets. Arbery removed his hands from his pockets, and Haney attempted to tase him. The Taser malfunctioned, however, and Arbery continued to follow the instructions given by officers, who eventually allowed him to leave.
“I get one day off a week. … I’m up early in the morning trying to chill,” Arbery reportedly said at the time. “I’m just so aggravated because I work hard, six days a week.”
Although the officers ultimately released him without filing any charges, he wasn’t allowed to drive his car because of a suspended license, the news outlet reports.
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