Ahmaud Arbery‘s family lawyer Lee Merritt says that the FBI is opening an investigation into the Brunswick, Georgia district attorney’s office, and the police who initially investigated Arbery’s shooting.
In a TMZ Live appearance on Monday, Merritt said that the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia said that they may be taking both civil and criminal actions against those individuals.
Arbery was killed on February 23, while his family says he was taking a run from his hometown of Brunswick, Ga, through the affluent neighboring community of Satilla Shores.
While there, surveillance cameras show that Arbery walked inside a house under construction a few times, though the owner says nothing was taken or damaged. Several other people were caught on the tape entering the house as well.
His family told ABC News that Arbery was heading to school in the fall to be an electrician.
Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael, along with the friend, William ‘Roddie’ Bryan who filmed the video that changed the direction of the case, have been arrested on charges including murder.
Merrit says that police texted McMichael, a former law enforcement officer, to tell him to be on the lookout for anyone entering the home as the homeowner lived a distance away but could see anyone trespassing due to surveillance cameras on the property.
He worries that the police department’s actions may have “deputized” Gregory, who could have then lawfully made an arrest. Travis, however, is the one on camera who Arbery is shot by.
Arbery was 25 when he was killed. His mother says that her son had some struggles but was looking forward to the fall where he’d enrolled in South Georgia Technical College to follow his uncles as an electrician. At the time of his death, Arbery was working with his father at his car wash and landscaping company.
“I think that when he went into the property, he probably was looking to see how they were going to run the wire … or how he would do the job if it was one of his assignments,” his mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, told ABC.