Gregory McMichael Leaked the Arbery Video

A bizarre twist to a tragic story.

Atlanta’s WSB-TV 2 (“Man charged in Ahmaud Arbery murder leaked original video of the shooting“):

In a stunning twist to a story that drew worldwide attention, Channel 2 Action News has confirmed that the man who leaked the viral video of the shooting of an unarmed black jogger in south Georgia is one of the murder suspects.

[…]

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne has confirmed that Greg McMichael leaked the video to a radio station, starting the avalanche of attention that landed him in jail on murder charges with his son.

Brunswick attorney Alan Tucker says Greg McMichael wanted to clear up some rumors circulating in the community and he had no idea the video would spark global outrage.

“He had that tape by himself. He delivered it. We have questions about the length of it,” L. Chris Stewart, attorney for Arbery’s family, told Winne.

Tucker says his parents live in Satilla Shores, and he hoped when the video was viewed by the public, it would ease racial tensions in the community.

“I didn’t want the neighborhood to become a Ferguson,” Tucker said.
Tucker said Greg McMichael brought the video and others to his office for assistance in getting the video downloaded for delivery to a talk show host on a Brunswick radio station.

Tucker says McMichael came to him as a friend and not as an attorney.

“That young man did not deserve to be shot Tucker” told Winne in a conversation. “There was no reason in the world for Travis to pull a shotgun out of a damn truck. None,” Tucker told Winne.

Tucker did not want to comment publicly on the charges against either McMichael.

Earlier on Friday Greg McMichael’s new attorneys. Frank and Laura Hogue, spoke for the first time. “Greg McMichael did not commit murder,” Frank Hogue said in a news conference in Macon.

The Hogues say the public has come to certain conclusions about that day and there is more to the story.

“We know several other critically important facts. Those facts point to a very different story,” Linda Hogue said.

“I have no doubt that Mr. McMichael and his son believe what he did was OK. It just wasn’t,” Stewart said. “Travis never should have gotten that shotgun. That is significant.”

I didn’t intend to do two posts on this guy this morning but I came across the previous story first and this doesn’t make sense as an update.

I’m not sure what it adds to our knowledge, other than the local attorneys are apparently no more competent than the local cops.

FILED UNDER: Crime
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I am pained…

    It’s clear from Travis’ comments that the McMichaels believed that they were doing what was right.

    It’s clear from video from Michigan that those why staged an armed protest and shut down the capitol building believed that they were doing what was right.

    It’s clear that those that protest masks and demand a reopening believe that they were doing what is right.

    How are we going to find a way back from all of this?

    16
  2. Northerner says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Almost everyone thinks what they’re doing is right, even when they’re committing great crimes. This is true even when you’re at Godwin levels — Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot all thought they were doing the right thing.

    The way back is as a society to bring justice against those who are mistaken in what is right. There are a lot of murders in the United States at any given times. People of all races kill people of their own and other races. Its tragic, but its always been that way. What is especially horrific about the murder of Arbery was that they weren’t charged and prosecuted, that the system was giving them a pass until the video was released, almost certainly because of racism.

    23
  3. Teve says:

    Are there laws against instigation? Like if you are in no danger, and then arm yourself and go confront somebody, you may be responsible for shit that happens?

    9
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Why am I not surprised that a racist pos thought the video of the murder of a black man would exonerate him?

    19
  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    We’re not going to find a way back from this until significant parts of society stop viewing life and politics as a zero sum game. That won’t happen as long as there are players who benefit from the schism. This week there has been a small explosion of articles on the web regarding the influence of Qanon, not only here, but throughout the world. We are in a world where a tiny number of actors, can use social media to promote the most ludicrous theories and have millions of dupes following them.

    That McMichael’s believed that releasing the tape would clear him, shows how little perspective and understanding he has of the world beyond his drinking buddies and sub-Reddit.

    17
  6. EddieInCA says:

    Why is anyone surprised?

    I ask sincerely. Why is anyone surprised?

    We had our own James Joyner saying definitively that this action was in no way “murder”, despite the clarity of Georgia Law.

    We have a President who routinely amplifies messages that have no basis in reality.

    We have a media that tries to equate Joe Biden and Donald Trump in regards to sexual assault.

    We have 43% of the population who genuinely think Trump is the best president in history.

    Why is anyone surprised?

    26
  7. JKB says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    No doubt governor Whitmer believes she is doing right while she appears bat-flu crazy to many. Similarly governor Cuomo and those of PA and NJ when they seeded the nursing homes with infected patients considered they were doing right. The alternative is rather distressing although aligned with the Bloomberg philosophy of elder healthcare.

    Those who clamor to remain in lockdown regardless of the lives and livelihoods it destroys believe they are doing right. Of course, most are only slightly inconvenienced but are still getting paid, a good number out of debt their children and children’s children have to pay off. Many of those you disdain have had to watch their children go to bed hungry, so yes, they see reopening the economy not only right, but imperative to survival.

    The citizen must not be so narrowly circumscribed in his activities that, if he thinks differently from those in power, his only choice is either to perish or to destroy the machinery of state.

    –Mises, Ludwig von (1927). Liberalism

    1
  8. Stormy Dragon says:

    @JKB:

    The citizen must not be so narrowly circumscribed in his activities that, if he thinks differently from those in power, his only choice is either to perish or to destroy the machinery of state.

    If JKB can’t get his haircut, he’s going to DIE people! How can you possibly expect him not to become a terrorist? Huh? HUH!?

    25
  9. Pylon says:

    In fairness, the video confirmed that the deceased was, in fact, black. No wonder he thought it would clear him.

    14
  10. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @JKB: New York nursing home outbreaks: “Cuomo seeded them…” Florida nursing home outbreaks: “Nothing to see here….”
    I’ve figured it out… JKB = Just Kidding Biyatches– He’s here all week

    16
  11. @JKB: I would note that the topic of the post was the Arbery shooting, not coronavirus policy (we have had plenty of those to comment on, as well as a daily open forum). Please don’t derail.

    16
  12. Teo says:

    Yes, there are laws against instigating a fight that causes a death. Generally, one cannot just pull a gun on another person in the ordinary course unless s/he is threatened with imminent bodily harm/death. Such conduct is considered common law assault (with a deadly weapon). Here Travis and Greg McMichael assaulted Arbery.

    Typically, if a death results from a felony, that death is considered felony murder unless the perpetrator was justified or excused from the killing. That’s what happened here. Felony murder does not require an intention to kill and that is likely why prosecutors charged Greg McMichael of felony murder. I believe Travis had the shotgun and he intended to kill Arbery once the unarmed Arbery tried to defend himself by pushing the gun barrel away from him. I believe that’s all you need for murder — a present intention to kill.

    7
  13. KM says:

    @Sleeping Dog :

    That McMichael’s believed that releasing the tape would clear him, shows how little perspective and understanding he has of the world beyond his drinking buddies and sub-Reddit.

    Sadly we need to expand that group of enablers. See, the reason he thought it would clear him is it shows him “acting aggressive” to a certain mindset. Self-defense laws in America have been highjacked ideologically to become armed self-defense laws. Self-defense has become associated with shooting an aggressor in the minds of the general public due to NRA propaganda. Thus, we end up with the bizarre notion that armed men stalking, chasing or even following an unarmed person for a period of time is somehow not a threatening or aggressive gesture because the NRA has told you carrying a firearm around is a normal behavior. These stalkers make the innocent “fear for their lives” but it doesn’t count because aggressive menacing isn’t a thing anymore in their mind. When the innocent being stalked finally takes a pro-active stance to protect themselves by running away, confronting the armed person or even trying to take the weapon (all things a self-defense class teaches, mind you), suddenly THEY are the attacker and free to be shot. Doesn’t matter that the victim was trying to save their own lives. Doesn’t matter that they set up the confrontation or cornered someone who has a legal right to defend themselves, the armed person always, always, ALWAYS claims they were in the right to defend themselves since the gun takes precedence. These idiots would have never tried their “citizens arrest” BS unarmed exactly because they are aware of how it would have ended; without the benefit of the doubt being armed grants, the law would have sided with Arbery even if they were being racist about it.

    That’s why this video was released. Look at how many supports claim Arbery tried to “grab the weapon” being aimed at him like that’s the first aggressive move and justifies the whole thing. That’s part of the “logic” of whey weren’t charge right away. This is the poison the NRA has spread and we’ve seen it over and over again – if you’re armed, it’s automatically your right to self-defense no matter what you did to start it. The McMichael’s are tying to invoke a trope that’s saved others before and it sadly working much better then it should be.

    27
  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    But you haven’t given @JKB an opportunity to do his daily devotional by spreading Trump bullshit!

    @KM:
    A huge percentage of white men who buy guns expect, and quite frankly hope, to get an opportunity to shoot a black man. They sit in their paneled gun room fantasizing about it. They lie in their bed at night running scenarios in their heads. The whole world is The Walking Dead and black people are the zombies.

    Look at maps of counties with a high number of gun dealers, they are heavily concentrated in the mountain west and the deep south. They are not correlated with heavy crime, so the self-defense argument is bullshit on its face. These are the white supremacist areas of the country – Republicans areas. White supremacists love guns and it’s not so they can hunt deer.

    This murder was the highlight of this scumbag’s life. He was proud of it. He finally got to kill a ni–er.

    10
  15. MarkedMan says:

    @KM: Perfectly said

    3
  16. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I would note that the topic of the post was the Arbery shooting, not coronavirus policy (we have had plenty of those to comment on, as well as a daily open forum). Please don’t derail.

    Liberal Capitalist was actually the one who brought up Coronavirus Policy, as part of “why do people doing objectively wrong things think they are doing the right thing”. Please don’t make me defend JKB.

    JKB’s claim that Cuomo seeded nursing homes with infected patients is completely deranged*, and I question why you provide him a platform for things like that, but that’s another issue…

    ——
    *: Really, where the fuck did that come from? Bizarre brain freeze and the wrong words came out, some kind of amazing autocorrect into crazy land, or is he just sniffing glue and getting into QAnon?

    7
  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    Really, where the fuck did that come from?

    Ever go to the zoo and see the monkeys throwing balls of shit around their cage?

    5
  18. @Gustopher: True, LC broadened the topic to issues of self-define righteousness, but that strikes me as relevant. JKB’s response was arguably still about that philosophical point, so perhaps I was too harsh (if being asked to be on topic can be construed as “harsh”).

    I would still argue that JKB’s was clearly grinding the open/ on open debate ax, and really wasn’t about the shooting issue at all, even tangentially. There are plenty of places on site to grind away on that topic.

    1
  19. Northerner says:

    @Gustopher:

    JKB’s claim that Cuomo seeded nursing homes with infected patients is completely deranged*, and I question why you provide him a platform for things like that, but that’s another issue…

    I’d argue giving JKB a platform where he can be immediately shot down is a public service. There are already plenty of echo-chambers where JKB (or anyone else with any conspiracy theory you can imagine) has a platform. Having one where craziness is criticized is a good thing.

    Some people are always going to say 2+2=5. I’d prefer they do so where others can point out how wrong that is.

    1
  20. Blue Galangal says:

    “I didn’t want the neighborhood to become a Ferguson,” Tucker said.

    Because when those people start jogging through your neighborhood, the next thing you know…

  21. EJS says:

    Does Gregory McMichael have a tattoo on his left forearm?