On Monday, the United States Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said that the department is considering issuing hate crime charges against the two white men – Gregory McMichael and his son Travis – for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man.
The Justice Department’s statement comes just days after state investigators charged the father and son with murder and aggravated assault.
According to the statement, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the FBI as well as the US Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, were all supporting and participating in the state investigation to determine “ … whether federal hate crimes charges are appropriate.”
The shooting of Arbery occurred on February 23. However, it wasn’t until a video went viral showing Arbery running and attempting to go around the McMichaels’ truck on May 5 that the McMichaels were arrested.
This has led many to question why it took local law enforcement more than two months to arrest the McMichaels, which has prompted both Georgia’s state attorney general and Justice Department to vow an investigate into the delay.
“We are considering the request of the Attorney General of Georgia and have asked that he forward to federal authorities any information that he has about the handling of the investigation,” said Kupec.
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