Man called 911 to report ‘a black male running down the street’ before Ahmaud Arbery shooting

Tribune Content Agency

Audio recordings of two 911 calls placed moments before Ahmaud Arbery was killed confirm that at least two people were concerned that a black man was running in their Georgia neighborhood.

“There’s a black male running down the street,” one of the callers, thought to be former police officer Gregory McMichael, told dispatchers seconds before the unarmed black jogger was fatally shot by the white ex-cop and his son.

The recordings, obtained Thursday by The Guardian, help shed light on an incident that has caused a national uproar over what critics have described as a hate crime. But the audio clips also raise questions as to why people were calling the cops on a man whose family said was known to the area and sometimes waved to his neighbors.

McMichael never told dispatchers what crime was allegedly being committed by the “black male running down the street” during the Feb. 23 call.

As the dispatcher tried to get an exact location for the incident, he appeared to scream at his son.

“Stop that. Damn it. Stop,” the caller, presumably McMichael, was heard shouting.

A disturbing video that surfaced online this week shows the deadly confrontation that has rattled a neighborhood in Satilla Shores, a small community outside Brunswick.

The footage shows Arbery running on a seemingly quiet road when McMichael and his son, Travis, start following the 25-year-old victim in a pickup truck. The younger man then scuffled with Arbery before the jogger was shot three times.

No one has been charged in the shooting, but authorities are still investigating the case.

A second 911 audio recording shows an unidentified caller complaining about a black man he claimed was at a house under construction.

“And he is running right now. There he goes right now,” the caller tells the dispatcher.

“OK. What is he doing?” the dispatcher asks.

“He’s running down the street,” the caller replies.

“OK. That’s fine. I’ll get them out there,” the dispatcher said, referring to the cops. “I just need to know what he was doing wrong. Was he just on the premises and not supposed to be?”

The caller’s reply was not clearly audible, but he said the man had previously been “caught on camera” in the area and he described the situation as “kind of an ongoing thing out here.”

Transcripts of both calls had previously been reported by local news outlets.

McMichael and his son told police at the time there had been a series of break-ins in the area and they thought Arbery was a burglar.

The case has drawn widespread condemnation and accusations of racism against the shooters.

“The video of #AhmaudArbery sickens me to my core,” Sen. Kamala Harris wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “Exercising while Black shouldn’t be a death sentence.”

“We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!” basketball start LeBron James tweeted on Wednesday. “Can’t even go for a damn jog man! … ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! I’m sorry Ahmaud(Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the heavens above to your family!!”


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