BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) – A state investigator is alleging that the white man accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery was heard saying a racist slur as he stood over the black man, moments after hitting him with three shots from a pump-action shotgun. During a probable cause hearing Thursday, the investigator said Arbery was repeatedly boxed in by two pickup trucks as he desperately tried to escape. Special Agent Richard Dial says Travis McMichael then shot him in the chest, the hand, and the chest again during a struggle. The evidence challenges claims of self-defense during a citizens’ arrest attempt, and could factor into a federal hate crime investigation. A judge ruled there is enough evidence against the three defendants charged in the case to proceed to trial.
ATLANTA (AP) – Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has addressed a crowd gathered downtown to protest racism, police violence and the killing of George Floyd. Bottoms told demonstrators through a megaphone on Thursday that the country was in the midst of a movement, but they would have to articulate solutions, not just anger. The mayor’s appearance came on the seventh straight night of protests in the city following Floyd’s death in Minnesota. Police Chief Erika Shields also attended the protest. When the first night of protests on Friday turned violent, an impassioned Bottoms told vandals that they were disgracing the city. She told the crowd on Thursday that they “matter” to her.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Civil rights icon John Lewis says the video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minnesota made him “cry.” The Georgia congressman told CBS on Thursday it made him “so sad.” Lewis says he’s encouraged to see diverse crowds protesting Floyd’s killing and demanding an end to racial injustice. Lewis was a key figure in the civil rights movement and had his skull fractured by troopers in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. He urged protesters seeking justice in Floyd’s killing to embrace nonviolence. He says it would be a “mistake” for President Donald Trump to use the military to suppress protests, as Trump has threatened. Lewis says his health “is improving” as he fights Stage IV pancreatic cancer.
ATLANTA (AP) – All the Republicans running in Georgia’s 9th Congressional District are pro-Trump, pro-gun and anti-abortion. That’s where the work begins to tell them apart. U.S. Rep. Doug Collins’ decision to run for U.S. Senate set off a scramble to succeed him in one of the nation’s most reliably GOP districts. The nine Republicans include former U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, state Sen. John Wilkinson, state Reps. Matt Gurtler and Kevin Tanner, lawyer Ethan Underwood and gun dealer Andrew Clyde. A runoff, if needed, would be held between the top two Republican finishers on Aug. 11. The Republican nominee will face the winner of a three-way Democratic contest among Devin Pandy, Brooke Siskin and the Rev. Dan Wilson.