Former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson
Former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson
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By Russ Bynum, AP

A former Georgia prosecutor was indicted Thursday on misconduct charges alleging she used her position to shield the men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery from being charged with crimes immediately after the shootings.

A grand jury in coastal Glynn County indicted former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson on a felony count of violating her oath of office and hindering a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor.

The indictment resulted from an investigation Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr requested last year into local prosecutors’ handling of Arbery’s slaying after a cellphone video of the shooting and a delay in charges sparked a national outcry.

“While an indictment was returned today, our file is not closed, and we will continue to investigate in order to pursue justice,” Carr, a Republican, said in a statement.

Arbery was killed Feb. 23, 2020, after a white father and son, Greg and Travis McMichael, armed themselves and pursued the 25-year-Black man in a pickup truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood outside the coastal city of Brunswick, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) south of Savannah.

Gregory Johns McMichael, Travis James McMichael Ahmaud Arbery
Images taken Thursday, May 7, 2020, and provided by the Glynn County Detention Center, in Georgia, show Gregory McMichael, left, and his son Travis McMichael. The two have been charged with murder in the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. (Glynn County Detention Center via AP)

A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan joined the chase and took cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery at close range with a shotgun. The McMichales said they believed Arbery was a burglar and that he was shot after attacking Travis McMichael.

Police did not charge any of them immediately following the shooting, and the McMichaels and Bryan remained free for more than two months until the cellphone video of the shooting was leaked online and Gov. Brian Kemp asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to take over the case.


Both McMichaels and Bryan were charged with murder and other crimes in May 2020 and face trial this fall. Prosecutors say Arbery was merely jogging in their neighborhood and was unarmed when Travis McMichael shot him. They say there is no evidence Arbery had committed a crime.

Greg McMichael had worked as an investigator in Johnson’s office, having retired in 2019. Evidence introduced in pretrial hearings in the murder case shows he called Johnson’s cellphone and left her a voice message soon after the shooting occurred.

“Jackie, this is Greg,” he said, according to a recording of the call included in the public case file. “Could you call me as soon as you possibly can? My son and I have been involved in a shooting and I need some advice right away.”

A record of Greg McMichael’s cellphone calls that day does not show that Johnson called him back.

The indictment says Johnson showed “favor and affection” toward Greg McMichael in the investigation and interfered with police officers at the scene by “directing that Travis McMichael should not be placed under arrest.”

Johnson did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment Thursday afternoon. She has previously insisted she did nothing wrong, saying she immediately recused herself from the case because Greg McMichael was a former employee.

“I’m confident that when the truth finally comes out on that, people will understand our office did what it had to under the circumstances,” Johnson told The Associated Press in November after she lost reelection.

Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s mother, said in a statement Thursday that prosecutors “must be held accountable when they interfere with investigations in order to protect friends and law enforcement.”

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, posted her reaction on Facebook: “Former DA Jackie Johnson….Indicted!!! JusticeForMyBaby!!!!”

In his call for an investigation into prosecutorial misconduct, Carr asked the GBI not only to investigate Johnson’s actions related to the killing but also those of Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill. No charges have been announced against Barnhill.

After the shooting, Johnson called Barnhill to handle questions from police about how to handle the shooting.

Carr ended up appointing Barnhill to take over on Feb. 27, four days after the shooting. In his letter ordering an investigation last May, Carr said he was never told that Barnhill had already advised police “that he did not see grounds for the arrest of any of the individuals involved in Mr. Arbery’s death.”

Barnhill later recused himself as well, after Arbery’s family learned his son worked for Johnson as an assistant prosecutor. But before he stepped aside, Barnhill wrote a letter to a Glynn County police captain saying the McMichaels “were following, in ‘hot pursuit,’ a burglary suspect, with solid first hand probable cause, in their neighborhood, and asking/ telling him to stop.”

Former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson
In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 file photo, District Attorney Jackie Johnson campaigns for reelection on St. Simons Island, Ga. Johnson, a former Georgia prosecutor was indicted Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 on misconduct charges alleging she used her position to shield the men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery from being charged with crimes immediately after the shootings. (Terry Dickson/The Brunswick News via AP, File)

“It appears their intent was to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived. Under Georgia Law this is perfectly legal,” Barnhill advised in the letter, referencing Georgia’s Civil War-era citizen arrest statute.

That law was repealed in May 2021, with overwhelming support from Republicans and Democrats, as a reaction to Arbery’s death.

Johnson told the AP in May 2020 that Glynn County police contacted two of her assistant prosecutors on the day of the shooting. She said it was the officers who “represented it as burglary case with a self-defense issue.”

“Our office could not advise or assist them because of our obvious conflict,” Johnson said.

Johnson blamed the controversy over Arbery’s death for her election defeat last year after a decade as top prosecutor for the five-county circuit in southeast Georgia. She was defeated by independent candidate Keith Higgins, who had to collect thousands of signatures to get on the ballot.

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  1. I especially like how this only goes one-way. When will DAs be indicted for failure to prosecute antifa & burn-loot-murder?


    • This is what I was going to say, I didn’t realize that you could charge for dereliction of duty. Maybe they should try some of the people failing to put orders in place to stop the left leaning mobs too.

    • “When will DAs be indicted for failure to prosecute antifa & burn-loot-murder?”

      For some inexplicable reason, BLM riots don’t seem to happen in conservative-run areas nearly as often as they do in areas run by Leftist Scum.

      I have no idea if she’ll ‘beat the rap’ or not, but the ‘good-‘ole boys’ in that case that chased that guy down had better be hiring federal prison ‘consultants’ who can instruct them to relax when the prison rape in the shower happens to them… 🙁

    • Its just the usual lobotomy Marxists out for revenge. They always defend their Antifa BLM thugs but will destroy any who oppose them and their reign of terror. This thug had a 20 page rap sheet and lived 20 miles from this town. Can the trolls explain what he was doing here besides casing the area.

  2. Garbage people, garbage results. It’s always the same story. Criminal and shooter are suspected douchebags…

      • @Peggy: I found 2 relatively minor offenses.

        Additionally, the alleged assailants and accessories had no knowledge of Aubrey’s record, so that wouldn’t be a factor. (Only factors that were known to the parties can be used.)

  3. Nice to see a prosecutor get prosecuted for doing something illegal. That almost never happens even though it needs to happen a LOT more often.

    • BSer:

      We are aware of your Havard Law school education and loved the specifics you brought to your argument to demonstrate your intellect and knowledge. For the rest of us, care to detail what she did that was illegal.

      Lefturds are so smart. They rank jsut below cockroaches.

  4. Felony count of violating her oath of office.
    If only we could prosecute that feckless POS Biden and his State dept for the same thing.

      • Typical BLM antifa asshole. Punishment works one way only. Do explain to us why the saintly deceased used this SOP many times and had been detained more than ten times for running through areas miles from where he lived?

        The author failed to mention this as do the usual suspects.

      • McRanker sister is the mother of his tranny. Talk about inbreds. How are things down at the Antifa-BLM-NAMBLA chapter skippy?

  5. Vigilantes getting what they deserve. Should have called the police instead of acting like tough guys. Now they get to be tough in prison being someone’s bitch getting assraped every day. Too bad.

    • Yep. Even if a car burglary crew got your S&W out of your unlocked truck a couple of months ago, you don’t get to run a guy down with trucks, repeatedly blocking his escape, and then take him down at gunpoint because somebody told you he had been trespassing on somebody else’s construction site.

      Yes, Arbery was a dirtbag, or at least a former dirtbag, but the McMorons didn’t know who he was or what his criminal history might be. They were not taking him down in response to witnessing him in the commission of a felony, nor does he seem to have been guilty of more than civil trespass in the hour of his death. Citizen’s Arrest isn’t a factor if you didn’t have lawful justification for making an arrest.

      I’ve heard that Greg was not a very good cop, and I can certainly believe those claims.

      • Tell how long you have been an Antifa member and why you recruit for NAMBLA.

        Tell us why he was 20 miles from where he lived?

        Tell us why he was a convicted felon?

        Tell me why said thug fled when he could have easily explained he lived in the area and had every right to be there, except for the fact he had been detained earlier that week in another town for the same MO. That he was a felon. That he had no reason to be there.

        So if someone runs through my property I have no reason to detain him? You must be a Soros DA or a Harvard Law School professor.

    • Ran to block the guy’s path while holding a shotgun, then the guy responded by grabbing the shotgun. If the guy had drawn a concealed handgun and shot Travis, it would have been self defense.

      And now, after the case has continued past May 25, 2020, it has become a festival of race-baiting.

  6. I watched the video and read the law, like it or not, Georgia Law, before it was repealed was on their side. Personally, I would have called the Police to handle the situation and not put myself in jeopardy for an alleged property crime. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

    Regarding the shooting, once the suspect, Arbery grabbed the shotgun, he made it a life or death situation. Does anyone think (besides his mother) that if Arbery was able to gain control of the shotgun, that he would have throw it into the woods, unloaded it and used harsh language against the other two men? It also is not clear whether Arbery caused the shotgun to fire by his actions to take it. If a suspect grabbed a police officer’s shotgun, would the officer have let him have it? Reasonable doubt, would apply here.

    I view the prosecution of the DA as simple political revenge. On the Federal Level, when prosecutors have actually obstructed justice, numerous times, with plenty of evidence, nothing ever happens to them, even though it should. I’m not sure what actions this person took, that would violate her oath. If she is convicted, no way it survives an appeal. Prosecutors have wide discretion in all cases, so unless she took a bribe or was part of a conspiracy, there is no crime here.

    In a situation where you have stupid people on both sides, doing stupid things, it is even more important to apply the law equally and blindly.

    The disturbing thing about political prosecutions is that they make sure only certain people are punished and others who commit the same actions (ie Capitol Police Murderer) are excused as a result of their political affiliations. I view this as a blatant attempt to make the police and the prosecutors part of the One-Party DemoRat State, further cementing their power.

    In the Movie Dr. Zhivago, a Communist Commissar warms his troops in WW1, that the day will come when they will be judged not my their actions in war, but by their loyalty to the Party. It seems we are on that road now.

    Interesting Times

    • “Regarding the shooting, once the suspect, Arbery grabbed the shotgun, he made it a life or death situation.” No, when Travis McMichael got out of the truck with the shotgun in his hands, he made it a life and death situation. If you just want to talk to someone you leave your pistol in the holster and your shotgun in the truck.

      • Really? It takes a sociology major to reason like that but then again reason, evidence and logics do not exist in the realm of moonbats and Marxists.

        When someone grabs a firearms it isn’t because he is innocent or trying to deescalate the situate. He has choosen violenve.

        But you were on the OJ jury weren’t you?

    • I can’t believe you or anyone else would try to rationalize the murder of another human being.
      If I point a shotgun at you and you are within range are you going to grab it or stand there like an idiot.

      • “I can’t believe you or anyone else would try to rationalize the murder of another human being.”

        Yah, three men with guns chasing someone down are the victims. The unarmed man running for his life is the guilty one.

        • Pretty sure Arbery was the victim here.
          As far as grabbing the shotgun he was being chased down by three people that he didn’t know. He probably thought they were going to kill him and had no choice but to try and defend himself.

      • Yeah everyone who is innocent knows that he is going to be killed so why not go after someone with a shotgun. Sounds right to me.

        Anyone else notice the blatantly racist and class thinking on display here by the usual Antifa trolls?

    • You’re insane. So if I accost you with a shotgun and you attempt to defend yourself by taking it from me, you believe I would be in the right to pull the trigger?

      “He made it a life or death situation”

      No, the man who approached and threatened him with a deadly weapon made it a life or death situation

      • The fact that they initiated this whole thing makes them responsible for what happens next. Why would Arbery think that their actions were anything other than to kill him. If your last resort is to try and defend yourself from someone you think is going to kill you what would you have done?

        • Yup a felon with a rap sheet of more than 20 pages with the same SOP wasn’t up to no good. Indeed why would Arbery react so violently after being arrested so many times. What kind of man assaults another when there is no need to do so-the rap sheet explains that.

    • “once the suspect, Arbery grabbed the shotgun, he made it a life or death situation”

      Yep, it’s obvious really. The video is so clear that these stories always make me wonder if there’s some *other* video with damning evidence against the shooter.

  7. I’d be interested to know how the popo get a voice mail from months ago. I think most people erase voice mails. If not typically auto delete within a month. Or perhaps big bro is archiving everything???

    “he called Johnson’s cellphone and left her a voice message soon after the shooting occurred.”

    • An honest prosecutor would divulge the voice mail to police investigators if somebody contacted them after a homicide.

      Anyway, what’s all this racism crap I’m reading in the comments?
      The attackers are white, the victim was black, so they’re automatically inbred racists because commenters are Antifa?

  8. If defining to prosecute where the evidence supports conviction is now a crime, there are several progressive DAs across the country who ought to be very worried right now.

  9. I seem to detect some dishonesty among posters here. If two armed men chase me down, I’m going to be very offended at their actions. Unlike Arbery, I may not have the balls to try to take a shotgun out of my assailant’s hands, but it would be justified. Having been assaulted by two armed men, it would have been justified if Arbery took the shotgun, and shot the other armed man – then held the man who had assaulted him with the shotgun until the police arrive.

    There isn’t a person in this discussion who can say otherwise. Two armed men chasing you down the street, you WILL go into flight-or-fight mode. Arbery couldn’t run fast enough to get away from a pickup truck, so he switched to fight mode.

    And, the two armed men almost got away with their crimes because – racism.

    • The perpetually offended claim the Arbery had his running clothes on (jogging over to choir practice or help out at the food bank or something). He certainly could easily outrun those fat ole boys.

      If you feel the need to carry a shotgun, and someone grabs the barrel to take it away from you, it’s a pretty good chance of someone getting shot. Anytime anywhere. Arbery lost.

      I don’t think the marxists have yet rationalized why Arbery was prowling thru a building he had no business being anywhere near. Idiotic BS claim from the left that it was not breaking and entering because there were not doors/windows installed yet.

        • It’s not really the Ford I have no love for but the people driving them. So I guess that equates to hating the gunm and not the person.
          I’m sure not all Ford pickup drivers start out as possum killers, however it seems when they get behind the wheel of a Ford pickem up their eyes glaze over and they become transformed, all of a sudden they’ve got an urge to stick a rebel flag in the back, get a cooler full of beer, with a can in the lap, a gunm rack in the back window which may or may not have a gunm, sometimes a fishing pole a whip or lariat . Get a dog to sit next to their gal whos always wearing daisy dukes and a halter top.
          The dog is a slobbering, pop tops a popping , HankWilliams jr. rocking and they go hunting possums .
          ” They killed Kenny , the bastards ! ! !”

      • “He certainly could easily outrun those fat ole boys“

        You betray your bias, those “fat old boys” were driving 2 pick up trucks.

        Do you really believe that Arbery could out run 2motorized vehicles?

        I have serious doubts about your cognitive ability, perhaps you would care to run down the road while Opossum takes his F350 after you.

        • Which miner? Which miner?

          There is only one Miner49er. Only one with a witless personality, ruged good looks that loves the chicks a bit to much.

          Which jwm uses “talking too?”

  10. What Paul said sums it up precisely.

    And, dishonesty is the least of the problems in many of the posters here. Overt racism being just one of them.

  11. I can’t believe you or anyone else would try to rationalize the murder of another human being.
    If I point a shotgun at you and you are within range are you going to grab it or stand there like an idiot.
    That black man was murdered by two racist inbred assholes.
    It’s that fucking simple.

    • If you’re actually stupid enough to attempt to grab a firearm from a person that is pointing one at you, then you definitely deserve what comes next.

      You’re not making an intelligent point at all. In fact, it’s rather stupid, and reflects you very well.

      • Aubrey had but three options. Beg for his life, or fight. He chose at that moment in time to fight. That you would criticize him for choosing to fight, tells us way, way more about you, than it does about him. And it’s nothing a man should be proud of.

  12. To democrats it’s not longer a matter of winning, it’s about persecuting and purging people that even dared appose you.

  13. There’s nothing wrong with a Vigilante group assisting the police. Or being there when the police refuse to do their job. Like when the Vigilantes (people who open carry) guard their neighborhoods when the police refuse to arrest arsonists. But “Vigilante justice” is wrong.

    If you as a civilian are going to arrest someone? You had better have the physical skills and be physically fit, when that person refuses to be arrested by you. Police carry tasers and pepper spray for a reason. These two guys were not prepared at all to make a citizen’s arrest. As I said before they have some splainin to do in court.

    And corrupt District Attorneys are an even worse problem than corrupt police officers in this country. Because DA’s have “absolute immunity” in this country. It is much better than the type of immunity the police officers have. Because a cop cannot lie under oath. And a district attorney can lie and hide evidence. And many of them have and gotten away with it

    Which is why Groege Sorso is funding them.

  14. Yes it was murder, and yes the good old boys network/cops clique appeared to influence the investigative outcome. They hunted Arbery down like horsemen hunt foxes, then Travis blocked his path with a shotgun, and Arbery’s options dwindled to:
    1. Surrender to whatever the crazy guys with guns wanted to do to him, or
    2. Grab the gun and fight for his life.

    It sounds like Madame Ex-Prosecutor’s biggest involvement was in telling responding officers they didn’t need to arrest prior to investigating the incident. Then she recused herself IIRC. The world would be a better place if we didn’t automatically arrest shooters claiming self defense without waiting for the results of the investigation of the shooting. We don’t arrest cops when they shoot somebody, why should we arrest apparent law abiding citizens without criminal records, just to give them an arrest record they might not deserve?

    The fact that nobody was arrested following the police investigation is the responsibility of the investigators and first reporters (responding officers), not the prosecutors in this case IMO.

    • Meh…all these hillbillies had to do was have their “aiding & abetting” buddy NOT make a video. Duh. Citizens arrest is the dumbest excuse ever. Fry boy’s.

  15. Your Honor I request these charges be thrown out using the Precedence of Lt Byrd vs anyone.

    To wit “Yassuh I dnt sees no weapon buts I was skeered so I done chute em”

    • Lymphoma236, this shoot was not about self-defense, Babbit was shot because she was forcibly entering a restricted area after being repeatedly warned that lethal force would be used to stop the unlawful intrusion and threat to the protected persons within the house chambers.

      Any physical threat against a member of the line of succession to the presidency, such as the vice president or speaker of the house, will be met with lethal force.

      • By that standard they should have shot and killed dozens of other rioters. Why show “restraint” to them but not Babbitt? Byrd panicked and used excessive force. You only try to justify her murder because of politics.
        Your standard is garbage anyway because nobody had produced or wielded any weapons during the riot

  16. Criminal culpability of these two knuckleheads will be determined at trial. But I have little doubt that there was MASSIVE ‘good ol’ boys’ interference being run and without the ‘leak’ of the video, no actual investigation would have been completed.

    Strange to see a DA facing responsibility for not doing his or her job. Maybe we should try that in Chicago, next.

  17. Arbery had a LONG history of criminal activity including burglary. He wasn’t out “jogging”….he was out CASING HOMES looking for a place to rob. But of course THOSE facts will be barred from any trial. If he had simply sat down and waited for the cops to come sort things out he would be alive……arrested and in jail probably but alive. But he decided to be stupid and tried to disarm a man….and got shot for his stupidity. This case is a sterling example of just how
    corrupt and f**ked up the American legal system is.

  18. Two random redneck yahoos in a pickup truck come try to kidnap you and you would “sit down” for them? And ‘casing’ is not something someone can be citizen arrested for. It might be a good reason for a police officer to detain someone based on reasonable suspicion- maybe even frisk them for weapons, also based on reasonable suspicion- but such detentions are only carried out by police. They are unlawful if conducted by random dingbats who must rely on probable cause of an actual codified crime. Which is why anyone who tries to do something like this is an idiot.

    The guy who shot him down in the street also had a choice. He ALSO could have waited for the police. His “suspect” was moving on foot and not sprinting. But no, our armed friend instigated a confrontation and was too fat and stupid to get himself out of it without shooting a man down in the street.

    Maybe the victim here was dumb to try and disarm the guy. If so, he paid for it with his life. Now I hope the idiot that decided it was a good idea to jump in a pickup truck and yee-haw someone instead of following at a safe distance and calling the police should spend the rest of his life in prison to pay for it.

  19. I am tired of the woke news media referring to Arbery as a ‘jogger’ out for a peaceful run when a couple of rednecks hunted him down and murdered him. He had previously been captured on numerous security cameras in the area trespassing inside new homes under construction ‘casing’ them and then phoning his buddies who later burglarized those sites. That’s how the defendants got on to him. They watched him on security cameras casing a home under construction and chased him down. Bad mistake on their part. Let the police do that. Since he was black and they white, facts don’t matter. Just like Treyvon Martin and Michael Brown. The Left has to have their narrative to further their agenda.

    • Jim, I live down here in Florgia, and the facts absolutely matter. Having the facts is of utmost importance- in all aspects of life. Unfortunately, you do not have your facts straight. Therefore, your conclusions are incorrect.

      There are many “sides” that have narratives to further their agendas- it is good to be cognizant of your own.

      The truth does not take, nor does it require, a “side”.

        • Really?

          Could you please provide substantiation for the following presumptions…

          “He had previously been captured on numerous security cameras in the area trespassing inside new homes under construction ‘casing’ them and then phoning his buddies who later burglarized those sites.”

          “That’s how the defendants got on to him.”

          “They watched him on security cameras casing a home under construction and chased him down.”

          “Since he was black and they white, facts don’t matter.”

          I live down here, and there has been a comprehensively large amount of information from multivarious sources released locally. Not only have the above accusations been challenged- they have been shown to be categorically false.

          If someone here has somehow become privy to information other than what has been released to the public so far- please do provide it. Based upon what has been made available to the public thus far- the most egregious criminal behavior was exhibited by the “good guys” claiming to be “defending” their neighborhood.

          Other than what has been released, we must wait for the facts to be brought forth in trial before we can have anything other than an assumptive guess as to what the determinative truth actually is. And it is extremely telling to witness how people are willing to contort the available information (as well as conjecture) into a posture that is mostly agreeable only to their own natural inclinations.

          I’m just interested in the truth coming out, that justice is applied accurately, and that proper punishment is applied to those who deserve it.

          I wouldn’t dare to presume that I “know” what actually happened- especially without having all the facts. What kind of person would even venture to make such pronouncements while ostensibly lacking the veritable details?

          Dunno- that’s a good question…

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