A grand jury on Thursday indicted a former Georgia prosecutor for her handling of Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting, on allegations she helped shield men now charged with murder in a case that went for months without arrests until a viral video sparked a national outcry.
Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson is accused of violating her oath of office and obstructing police in the Black man’s fatal shooting last February by obstructing law enforcement by directing that Greg McMichael’s son, Travis McMichael, should not be arrested, “contrary to the laws” of Georgia.
Attorney General Chris Carr today announced the indictment of former District Attorney Jackie Johnson on charges of Violation of Oath of Public Officer and Obstruction of a Police Officer.
As alleged in the indictment, these charges are related to the investigation surrounding the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.
“Our office is committed to ensuring those who are entrusted to serve are carrying out their duties ethically and honestly,” said Carr, a Republican appointed on 2016, by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Carr to fill a vacancy created by the departure of former Attorney General Sam Olens. “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.”
Carr’s Prosecution Division presented evidence to a Glynn County grand jury over several months, resulting in Johnson’s indictment* on September 2, 2021.
Gregory and Travis McMichael, a father and son, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. are awaiting trial this fall for chasing and killing 25-year-old Arbery last year as he ran in their neighborhood outside coastal Brunswick. Jury selection is scheduled to start Oct. 18.
Specifically, the indictment charges the defendant with the following which, if convicted, can carry the respective penalties:
- Violation of Oath of Public Officer – This is a felony that carries 1-5 years.
- Obstruction and Hindering a Law Enforcement Officer – This is a misdemeanor that carries up to 12 months.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation assisted in this investigation.
A copy of the indictment is attached and no further information about the investigation or about Jackie Johnson’s alleged crimes other than that stated in the indictment may be released at this time.
Members of the public should keep in mind that indictments contain only allegations against the individual against whom the indictment is sought. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and it will be the government’s burden at trial to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the allegations contained in the indictment.