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Hundreds honor Ahmaud Arbery after two murder suspects are arrested

People participate in a protest after the shooting death of unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery outside the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., on Friday. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE
1 of 4 | People participate in a protest after the shooting death of unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery outside the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., on Friday. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

May 8 (UPI) -- Hundreds attended a rally Friday in support of Ahmaud Arbery, and officials said they will investigate the man who recorded a video of his shooting.

Aubry, who is African American, was shot to death while jogging in Brunswick, Ga., on Feb. 23. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced the arrest Thursday of Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael, who are white. They are charged with murder and aggravated assault.

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GBI Director Vic Reynolds said a video shot by William "Roddie" Bryan, is a key piece of evidence in the case. The video has appeared on numerous social media platforms. Gregory McMichael told police they suspected that Arbery was a burglary suspect and chased him, adding that Arbery attacked them when he was confronted by the two armed men. Bryan, with his cellphone camera, joined in the chase and produced the video.

Reynolds said Friday that additional arrests are possible.

On Friday, Arbery's 26th birthday, gatherers mourned the loss of a fellow runner and friend.

"We didn't give up," one of the speakers at the event, Julie Jordan, told the crowd. "The community didn't give up. We knew the truth and we were not going to be silenced. Let's all keep running with Ahmaud until justice is served."

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The GBI said Wednesday that it would assist local law enforcement at the request of Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden, who has led an investigation of the shooting since April 14. Arrests were made within 36 hours of the GBI's involvement.

Two commissioners of Glynn County, where the incident occurred, said that police officers were prepared to arrest the father and son within days of the shooting, but were prevented by District Attorney Jackie Johnson.

"The police at the scene went to her, saying they were ready to arrest both of them, said Commissioner Alan Booker. "These were the police at the scene who had done the investigation. She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael."

The elder McMichael, now retired, formerly worked as an investigator in Johnson's office. Johnson has recused herself from the case within days of the shooting.

Commissioner Peter Murphy said Glynn County police told him that they had probable cause to make the arrest, but did not after contacting Johnson's office.

"They were told not to make the arrest," Murphy said.

In Georgia, GBI involvement must be requested by local authorities.

"We're investigating everyone involved in the case, including the individual who shot the video," Reynolds said Friday. "Probable cause was clear to our agents pretty quickly. I'm very comfortable in telling you there's more than sufficient probable cause in charging felony murder."

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