Father and son charged with murder in death of Ahmaud Arbery

There has been a strong national response, including from this crowd in Georgia’s Brunswick, to the death of Ahmaud Arbery Credit: Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News/AP

A white father and son have been charged with murder over the February shooting of a black man who was running in their neighbourhood, authorities in the US state of Georgia said.

Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was killed on a residential street just outside the port city of Brunswick on February 23.

National outrage over the case swelled this week after a cellphone video was released that appeared to show the shooting.

Gregory McMichael, 64, and his 34-year-old son, Travis McMichael, have both been jailed on charges of murder and aggravated assault.

McMichael told police after the February shooting that he and his son chased after Mr Arbery because they suspected him of being a burglar.

Glynn County sheriff Neal Jump speaks with the crowd in Brunswick, Georgia. Credit: Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News/AP

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, said she believes her son, a former football player, was just jogging in the Satilla Shores neighbourhood before he was killed on a Sunday afternoon.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests the day after it began its own investigation at the request of an outside prosecutor.

The GBI news release said the McMichaels “confronted Arbery with two firearms. During the encounter, Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery.”

No other details were immediately released.

It was not immediately known if either of the McMichaels had an attorney who could comment on the charges.

Gregory McMichael, left, and his son Travis McMichael have been charged with murder in the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. Credit: Glynn County Detention Centre/AP

Gregory McMichael served as an investigator for Glynn County district attorney Jackie Johnson, and retired last year.

The connection caused Ms Johnson to recuse herself from the case.

At a news conference before the arrests were announced Thursday, Republican governor Brian Kemp told reporters he was confident state investigators would “find the truth”.

“Earlier this week, I watched the video depicting Mr. Arbery’s last moments alive,” Mr Kemp told reporters in Atlanta.

“I can tell you it’s absolutely horrific, and Georgians deserve answers.”