GCPD officials describe scene of Ahmaud Arbery’s death during second day of testimony

Local News

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (WSAV) – Officials from the Glynn County Police Department who responded the day of Ahmaud Arbery’s death took the stand on the second day of trial.

On Monday, jurors were seen squirming in their seats as they looked at graphic crime scene evidence, including photos of Arbery’s body covered in a white sheet that was soaked in blood. Photos of the shotgun, shells, bloodstained pavement and Arbery’s gunshot wounds were also presented.

Ricky Minshew, the first officer on the scene of Arbery’s death, recalled the moments he responded to a report of “a suspicious Black male” in the usually-quiet Satilla Shores neighborhood. 

“I hear two loud pop sounds… They were within a couple seconds apart,” Minshew said during testimony. “It was pretty loud so I knew it being the boom sound it was either a firearm or fireworks.”

“I seen two males there in front of me and I observed a Black male laying in the middle of the roadway and he was covered in blood,” he continued. “He appeared to be unresponsive to his surroundings, he appeared to be deceased.”

Minshew said that Arbery had bled out to the point that blood was exceeding the perimeter of his body. The former Glynn County police officer also said Arbery’s breathing was resemblant of “death rattle breathing,” which he had only heard responding to other fatalities.

Minshew said because he was alone, he was unable to perform rescue aid on Arbery.

“Being that I was the only officer on scene without having any other police units to watch my back there was no way that I could switch my attention to anything medical,” Minshew said.

Jurors also saw the shotgun collected on the scene. Investigator Sheila Ramos testified that she saw Travis McMichael the day of the shooting, noting that he was “in a distraught state.”

At one point, lawyers on both sides clashed over playing Officer Minshew’s body camera video. The judge reprimanded defense attorneys for “throwing shots” at the other side.

“As I’ve explained on the record before, the professionalism in this courtroom is not just asked for, it is demanded,” Judge Timothy Walmsley said. “I have not at this point lost my patience on this issue. But it’s not the first time I’ve brought it up. If you’re gonna throw shots at the other side, I’m gonna call you out on it. This is an example of it. Let’s not do it.”

Defense attorneys ultimately played Minshew’s body cam video, where the former officer said he heard Gregory McMichael say “he had no choice.” Lawyers for the McMichael family argue that Travis fired his gun in self-defense.

Toward the end of the day the state introduced its fourth witness, officer Adam Jackson. Jackson testified that police had not witnessed more property crimes in the Satilla Shores area in the months leading to Arbery’s death.

Another Glynn County officer is set to testify on Tuesday. 

Both of Arbery’s parents and Gregory McMichael’s wife (Travis’ mother) were present in court on Monday.

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