CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER: MURDER OF AHMAUD ARBERY LIKE MURDER OF TRAYVON MARTIN

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[Ahmaud Arbery\Trayvon Martin]
Lee Meritt: “It's similar to in Florida, this loosely federated, sort-of neighborhood watch. And so they would be calling back and forth between the neighborhoods: Hey did you guys see that Black guy go running down the road?"
Photo: YouTube

Civil Rights Lawyer Lee Merritt has likened the murder of Ahmaud Arbery to that of Trayvon Martin.

Today on SiriusXM’s The Joe Madison Show Civil Rights Attorney Lee Merritt called into the show to discuss Ahmaud Arbery's killing and compares it to Trayvon Martin's Death and discusses how long it will take to impanel a grand jury during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lee Merritt tells Joe: “It's similar to in Florida, this loosely federated, sort-of neighborhood watch. And so they would be calling back and forth between the neighborhoods: Hey did you guys see that black guy go running down the road? Does that look like the guy we're looking for? Let's call the cops and go chase after him.”

"It's a weakly veiled excuse to deny, or to delay justice for this family or this community...When you have a situation where two to three murderers have gone free for the last two and a half months, and because we're in the middle of a pandemic, then this is one of those times where a District Attorney can exercise their discretion and directly indict these men."

Below are excerpts of the exchange between Joe Madison and Lee Merritt.

HOST, JOE MADISON:

"What were they doing? Were they out patrolling the neighborhood? Were they security guards, like in the Florida case? [George] Zimmerman. Were they a Zimmerman? I mean, what were they doing?"

CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY LEE MERRITT:

"It's similar to in Florida, this loosely federated, sort-of neighborhood watch. And so they would be calling back and forth between the neighborhoods: Hey did you guys see that Black guy go running down the road? Does that look like the guy we're looking for? Let's call the cops and go chase after him. So this was coordinated between the community.

HOST, JOE MADISON:

"But do we know now, because they haven't spoken to the press, the McMichaels haven't spoken to the press. What were they looking for?"

CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY LEE MERRITT:

"Again, the only thing that they've said in their statements to the District Attorney and their statement is that we saw this man running down the road, we believe that he may fit the description, which he doesn't by the way, cause there was a description of previous burglaries in the area. And so we want to stop and ask him about it, and when he refused to stop, we decided to use deadly force to stop him."

HOST, JOE MADISON:

"I brought this up, you tell me if I'm wrong. United States Supreme Court can meet by telephone a grand jury, you impanel a grand jury.So the question is why can't you impanel a grand jury by telephone? Grand jury number one, are you on the call? Grand jury number two, are you on the call? The other question that I have is if the governor, you open up tattoo parlors, barbershops, movie theaters, bowling alleys, but you can't impanel a grand jury? Your comment."

CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY LEE MERRITT:

"It's a weakly veiled excuse to deny or to delay justice for this family and for this community. The district attorney can do a direct indictment at any point. They can say, you know what, I have enough evidence that I don't need a grand jury to show probable cause I can directly indict these men if I have sufficient evidence."

HOST, JOE MADISON:

"And by the way, you've got evidence because we have a tape. So you don't even need to impanel a grand jury."

CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY LEE MERRITT:

"No, that's an unnecessary spit. That is, that is a safeguard that we include in our criminal justice system to ensure fairness. But when you have a situation where two to three murderers have gone free for the last two and a half months, and because we're in the middle of a pandemic, then this is one of those times where a district attorney can exercise their discretion and directly indict these men. The Glynn County Police Department can say until that indictment takes place in order to keep the community safe, we're going to go ahead and go arrest these men, and that should have happened two months ago, but it certainly can happen today."

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