Texts Show Cop Suggested House Owner Contact Gregory McMichael About Trespasser

Sandy Malone

Glynn County Police Officer Robert Rash suggested homeowner Larry English contact Gregory McMichael for security help.

Brunswick, GA – Gregory McMichael had discussed the problems at the construction site where Ahmaud Arbery allegedly trespassed multiple times with local law enforcement and volunteered his assistance months before their fatal encounter.

Text messages have been released between Glynn County Police Officer Robert Rash and homeowner Larry English that showed the officer recommended involving McMichael, the Atlanta Journal- Constitution reported.

English is the owner of the under-construction, unoccupied home where Arbery was seen on video trespassing on multiple occasions.

There was a motion-activated security camera that alerted the homeowner anytime somebody entered the unoccupied dwelling, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The first time Arbery was spotted on English’s cameras was in October of 2019.

English contacted the Glynn County police about people trespassing at his construction site and sent them videos for the officers who were going to check out the home, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

After another trespassing incident on Dec. 17, 2019, Officer Rash texted English and suggested he reach out to McMichael for assistance with his security problems.

“Greg is retired Law Enforcement and also a Retired Investigator from the DA’s office,” the officer texted on Dec. 20, 2019. “He said please call him day or night when you get action on your camera.”

Officer Rash provided McMichael’s phone number to English in the text, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

But English said he never contacted McMichael for help and didn’t even remember receiving the text about him from Officer Rash.

In a statement released after Arbery was killed, the homeowner’s attorney said that English had no relationship with McMichael whatsoever, WJXX reported.

Former International Association of Police Chiefs President and LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar said the text messages between the officer and the homeowner were troubling because it appeared that he had encouraged a citizen to call another citizen for help when police should have responded, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“I’m not aware of any accepted policy for referring someone that requires a police response to delegate that response to a former law enforcement officer who happens to live in the neighborhood,” Chief Dekmar said.

He said it also gave the perception that the police department investigating the Arbery shooting had a relationship with the suspects.

“If it’s not a real conflict, it’s certainly a significant perception of one,” the chief said.

S. Lee Merritt, an attorney the Arbery family, has called for "all participating parties" to be arrested, FOX News reported.

“We believe this communication deputized a group of untrained men in the Satilla Shores community to hunt down suspected trespassers, causing the events of Feb. 23, 2020,” Merritt said.

The police report said the incident on Feb. 23 began when Arbery jogged past the home of Gregory and Travis McMichael, the Associated Press reported.

The McMichaels told police afterwards that they thought Arbery was the suspect in several recent burglaries in the neighborhood, so they armed themselves and followed him, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The men jumped in their pickup truck and followed the 25 year old as he jogged through the neighborhood.

A video, filmed by the McMichaels’ friend, Willian Bryan, who was following in another vehicle, showed Arbery running up the middle of the residential road toward a white pickup truck was stopped ahead of him.

The video showed Arbery ran around the truck and a struggle ensued before he reappeared back in front of it again, engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle for Travis McMichael’s shotgun.

Arbery was shot twice in the chest and died at the scene.

McMichael told police that Arbery “began to violently attack” his son and then the two men fought over the shotgun.

No arrests were made for more than two months after the shooting, prompting outrage from Arbery’s family and community.

The first two prosecutors assigned to the case had to recuse themselves because of professional conflicts of interest.

However, before she recused herself, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson allegedly told police they couldn’t arrest the McMichaels on the night of the shooting.

“The police at the scene went to her, saying they were ready to arrest both of them,” Glynn County Commissioner Allen Booker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “These were the police at the scene who had done the investigation. She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael.”

Documents obtained by The New York Times revealed that George E. Barnhill, a prosecutor with the Waycross Judicial District who was next assigned to the case, had argued that both McMichaels had acted legally under the Georgia citizen’s arrest and self-defense statutes before he recused himself.

Tom Durden, the third prosecutor assigned to the case, was bombarded with criticism after he said he wanted to convene a grand jury to determine whether the McMichaels should be charged, the Associated Press reported.

But that could not happen for more than a month because the Georgia Supreme Court has prohibited grand juries from meeting until after June 12, The New York Times reported.

Facing intense scrutiny, Durden asked the GBI to assist with the investigation into Arbery’s death, and 48 hours later, both Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested for murder.

A neighbor later came forward and said that the day that Arbery was fatally shot wasn’t the first encounter the 25 year old had with Gregory and Travis McMichael.

Neighbor Diego Perez, who lives nearby English’s home that is under construction told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the first encounter took place on Feb. 11 after the motion sensors were activated.

Perez said that the security cameras alerted English, who lived two hours away and the homeowner sent the video to him and asked him to check on the property.

So he said he armed himself and set off up the street to English’s house to see what was going on, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Perez said that as he arrived at the house, he spotted Travis McMichael coming from the opposite direction in his truck.

He said Travis McMichael stopped the truck in front of English’s house, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“Travis saw him in the yard and Travis stopped,” Perez said. “He confronted [the man] halfway into the yard. He said [the man] reached for his waistband, and Travis got spooked and went down the road.”

He said Travis McMichael returned a short while later with his father, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Perez said the McMichaels said they had called the Glynn County Police Department before he got to the house.

The neighbor said he checked the home under construction carefully but didn’t see where anything had been taken, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Perez said he had given police a description of the vehicle he thought the trespasser had driven.

“All we knew about him was that he was the guy who kept showing up on our cameras,” he said. “No one knew who it was.”

The next time that Perez saw Arbery, the 25 year old was lying dead on the pavement, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

He said that when he arrived at the shooting scene minutes after Travis McMichael and Arbery fought over the rifle, he immediately recognized the man who was down as the same person who had appeared on the surveillance videos at English’s house two weeks earlier.

Georgia officials have asked for a federal investigation into the handling of Arbery’s case.

Comments (93)
No. 1-11
gae young
gae young

Was there ever any damage done in the home under construction?

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Marxest
Marxest

Call Greg McMicheal and Son when you want black men hunted down and killed. They do a professional job. The fee for the murder can be negotiated.

Ahmaud Arbery had not stolen anything. He wasn't carrying any items, nor a backpack nor a weapon when he jogged. There were no reports of anything being stolen from any homes. That particular day, Gregory and Travis McMicheal, murderous father and son, were looking for black prey and a convenient excuse to deprive someone of their rights and possibly life. They succeeded. To make matters worse, the act was defended by a possibly racist D.A by the name of George E. Barnhill. Fortunately the good and sensible folks at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation decided that a monstrous crime had in fact occurred and arrested the murderous father and son. Let us pray that father and son spend the rest of their days in a cell.

Ahmaud Arbery, rest on peace, your life mattered.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

No, it is a real conflict of interest, Lou. Not just a perception.

JenAllBlue
JenAllBlue

It's a true shame they rushed to judgment. Like gae young said, was there any damage or anything taken??? People RUSH to judgment because he is black!! Did any surveillance show Arbery took anything? No because believe me, if there was video of that then there would be a whole other spin. Could Arbery just been looking at the new construction and admired and dreamed? I know plenty of times I went on construction sites of houses, out of pure curiosity! Unfortunately, curiosity possibly killed Albert and for no other reason than being black. I AM WHITE AND A FEMALE AND I STAND UP FOR ARBERY!! ❤️❤️

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Arbery's November 2017 encounter with police...

NomonK
NomonK

I dont pretend to know all the details but I feel I know enough to say the death of this young man was uncalled for and certainly not justified.
I don't know how many construction sites i have entered out of curiosity, taking nothing nor damaging anything.
I can't help but to believe there continues to be a coverup by the original people in the story

Hugh g
Hugh g

Several times homes here have been robbed of appliances and doors and windows. Common sense says the signs say no trespassing .if one is looking for trouble then trespass. Had the man surrendered without fighting he would still be alive today.cams show he did trespass . So an arrest is warranted without question.

John Q Public
John Q Public

Headline should be corrected:
Texts Show Cop Suggested House Owner Contact Gregory McMichael About Trespasser...but owner gave no authorization or request for vigilante patrol

Heezels
Heezels

It’s reasonable in that Ahmed Arbery matched the description of a suspicious person that had been seen trespassing that particular site on multiple occasions. And seeing as how they have video footage of Ahmed Arbery going into the building as well as Not just one call of Arbery trespassing on the site, but another call that was placed well before the event question. The other burglaries, the fact that a firearm was stolen out of McMichaels’ truck. It seems at least somewhat reasonable given this series of coincidences and Arbery’s criminal history, which George McMichael is also familiar with.

Reread my initial comment. It tells you that citizens may conduct an arrest in an instance where a crime was witnessed or they have immediate knowledge of the crime. They did see Arbery enter the house and exit the house on two occasions.

This might help. “ O.C.G.A. §17-4-60 says that a “private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge. If the offense is a felony and the offender is escaping or attempting to escape, a private person may arrest him upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.” In English, this means that a citizen may arrest someone if he sees that person commit the crime. However, if the crime is a felony, and the offender is trying to get away, a citizen can arrest that person if they reasonably believe that the person committed the offense.”

Arbery was trespassing on property. Source for quote. http://news.monroelocal.org/legalese-citizens-arrest/

Your last point is hyperbolic nonsense. You’re upset and you’re trying to conflate a different situation without any context to the variables of Arbery’s case. It’s apples and oranges. Arbery was considered a suspicious person. He was seen entering then exiting a house that did not belong to him. He was followed and the McMichaels initiated a citizen’s arrest. But you are asking me what I’d do in Arbery’s position, I sure as shit wouldn’t escalate things when I’m unarmed. If they told me to stop and wait till the police arrived, I probably would, given that that Would be in my best interest both physically and legally.

Arbery went from an unarmed “victim” to bring an armed combatant by simply grabbing hold of that gun.

USGMI
USGMI

What really upsets me is that they put this burglars photo in a tux while using mug shots for the police officer. If they want to keep things even put the burglars photo from the security camera. This was a thug that was burglarizing a building. He heard the neighbor calling the police on the phone and he left the building. If he would not have heard them there is no way of telling what he would have done. You don't "Jog" inside of other peoples houses. This is just another case of trying put lip stick on a pig. The bottom line if this punk would not have been inside of someone else's house in an area that he did not live he would not be dead.


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