GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. — The trial in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery resumed Monday morning, the trial's second day of witness testimony.
The trial began on Friday with opening statements by the prosecution and two of the three defense lawyers for the three men facing murder charges (the third cited a rule allowing him to present an opening statement after the prosecution closes its case.)
The trial then quickly progressed to the first witness testimony by a Glynn County officer who responded to the scene on Feb. 23, 2020 after Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery.
On Monday, two officers who responded to the scene also testified about what they saw when they arrived. Watch their testimonies below.
The testimony last week produced emotional courtroom scenes as the officer went over his bodycam video, which included clear footage of Arbery's body on the ground in the Satilla Shores neighborhood where he was shot.
11Alive's Hope Ford reported Friday that one juror shielded herself with a notebook and was unable to watch the footage, while Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, cried into her hands after watching some of the video.
She later said she’d avoided the video until now, adding "it was time to see the video to cure my curiosity, it was very heartbreaking but I’ve got past that part.”
The trial picks back up at 9 a.m. Monday morning.
Authorities have said Arbery, a Black man, was running through the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Glynn County, near Brunswick, on Feb. 23, 2020 when father and son Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael left their home and began pursuing him. The McMichaels got ahead of him in their truck and blocked the road while a third man, William "Roddie" Bryan, followed and helped effectively pin him in.
Bryan filmed the incident from his following car.
The video taken by Bryan shows Travis McMichael and Arbery got into a struggle as he tried to run around the McMichaels' stopped vehicle blocking the road, with Travis then shooting him.
Afterward the McMichaels claimed they were attempting a citizen’s arrest, finding Arbery suspicious after there had been a string of thefts they’d reported in the area.
Defense lawyers said Friday that surveillance video from an unfinished home under construction showed Arbery had wandered onto it several times in the months leading up to his death. The owner said he did not suspect Arbery had taken anything, and there was no evidence from any videos that suggested he did.
The video from the day he died showed Arbery had again briefly wandered onto the property without taking or damaging anything. It was not uncommon for others, including neighborhood children and a white couple recorded at one point, to glance around at the property or go to its dock out back.
But the frequent entrances onto the property, setting off an alert system on the owner's phone, and at least one reported theft of electronic equipment out of a boat on site had the neighborhood "on edge," defense lawyers argued.
The subsequent treatment of Arbery's killing by local prosecutors as justified, and the initial lack of arrest or any legal action against the men now accused of murder, led to a significant outcry at his death when video of it emerged months later.
Arbery, along with George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, subsequently became one of the significant symbols of the Black Lives Matter protests that swept across the country in the summer of 2020.