A former Georgia prosecutor involved in the case of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing was indicted on charges of misconduct for allegedly using her position to protect the men who chased and shot Arbery, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
On Thursday, Jackie Johnson, a former district attorney in Brunswick, Georgia,ahmaud was indicted by a grand jury on charges of violating her oath of office and hindering a law enforcement officer. A felony offense, she’s charged with “showing favor and affection” to Greg McMichael, the father of Travis McMichael who was also charged in the case. The indictment also stated that she failed “to treat Ahmaud Arbery and his family fairly and with dignity.”
Arbery was killed when Greg and Travis McMichael along with William “Roddie” Bryan, armed themselves and pursued him in a pickup truck after they discovered Arbery running in their neighborhood, right outside the city of Brunswick.
Because it was a family that she was familiar with, Johnson, as the local district attorney, had a conflict of interest; Greg McMichael previously worked in the DA’s office as an investigator before his retirement in 2019. It was discovered that McMichael contacted Johnson by phone just minutes after the shooting.
Back in May of 2020, Chris Carr, the attorney general of Georgia, requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation(GBI) investigate the possibility of prosecutorial misconduct in Arbery’s case.
In a statement, Carr expressed his gratitude to the GBI and promised to continue to fight for justice.
“Our office is committed to ensuring those who are entrusted to serve are carrying out their duties ethically and honestly,” Carr said Thursday. “We thank the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Glynn County grand jury for their hard work. While an indictment was returned today, our file is not closed, and we will continue to investigate in order to pursue justice.”
Johnson, who was voted out of office reportedly due to her handling of Arbery’s case, said in an interview that she was innocent.
“The one mistake I made in this case was trying to be helpful to the police,” she told WIFO-FM. “In retrospect, I was trying to do a good deed and get them some help and guidance to help them do their job. It’s now being used against me.”
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump added that Johnson should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for her alleged misconduct.
“The path to justice for Ahmaud Arbery and his family has been a long and arduous one,” Crump said in a statement. “But today’s indictment is yet another step in the right direction. Former DA Johnson may not have pulled the trigger on the day Ahmaud was murdered, but she played a starring role in the cover-up.”
The McMichaels and Bryan have been charged with murder and are scheduled to stand trial on Oct. 18.