The Georgia Bureau of Investigations is reviewing surveillance video in the Ahmaud Arbery case that appears to show him entering a construction site just before he was killed, the agency confirmed on Saturday.
Arbery, who is black, was shot to death on Feb. 23 in Brunswick, Georgia, after being chased by white men in a pickup truck. Arbery, 25, was on a jog at the time of his murder, his family says.
Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, were arrested on Thursday and face charges of felony murder and aggravated assault. Police said a third man, identified as a neighbor, joined the chase and jumped into the McMichaels’ truck. According to police reports, the McMichaels say they believed Arbery was a burglar.
Video from the day of Arbery’s death, obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, shows a person matching the description of Arbery walking up to a house under construction, entering, and then leaving shortly later.
“We are indeed reviewing additional video footage and photographs as part of the active case,” the GBI said in a statement. “It is important to note that this footage was reviewed at the beginning of the GBI investigation and before the arrests of Gregory and Travis McMichael.”
A statement from attorneys representing Arbery’s family say the new video “is consistent with the evidence already known to us.”
“Ahmaud’s actions at this empty home under construction were in no way a felony under Georgia law. This video confirms that Mr. Arbery’s murder was not justified and the actions of the men who pursued him and ambushed him were unjustified,” the family’s lawyers said in a statement.
George Barnhill, one of the prosecutors who first handled the case, defended the actions of the McMichaels and their neighbor in the truck. In a letter to the Glynn County Police Department obtained by NBC News, Barnhill wrote that the men had “solid first hand probable cause” to chase Arbery, a “burglary suspect,” and stop him.
Barnhill also said that after he watched the video of the incident, “given the fact Arbery initiated the fight” and grabbed the shotgun, he believed Travis McMichael “was allowed to use deadly force to protect himself” under Georgia law.
Arbery’s death sparked nationwide outrage and protests spurred by video footage of the shooting incident that was recently released. His mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told NBC News, “I wish the world would have gotten the chance to know Ahmaud, to really truly love Ahmaud.”