Ahmaud Arbery's Family Says Indicted Ex-DA 'Needs to Go to Jail' Over Case Involvement

Ahmaud Arbery's family are reportedly pleased by the indictment of a former Georgia district attorney who was involved in the victim's case, but said that she also "needs to go to jail."

Former District Attorney Jackie Johnson on Thursday was indicted on charges of violation of oath of a public officer, and could potentially face up to five years in prison. The charges were issued based on her involvement in the case of Arbery, a Black man who was fatally shot while jogging through a neighborhood in Glynn County, Georgia, last year.

Johnson was also charged with obstruction of a police officer, which is a misdemeanor that is punishable to up to 12 months in jail.

Arbery's family reportedly called the indictment a huge win, WSB-TV reported on Friday.

"Johnson needs to go to jail. She needs to be going in the same repercussions as the McMichaels and Roddy Bryan," Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper said. "Ahmaud was killed, and nothing was done."

The Thursday indictment accuses Johnson of favoring Greg McMichael in the case. McMichael, a former investigator in Johnson's office, was one of the three suspects—along with his son Travis and their neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan Jr.—charged in the death of Arbery.

Arbery was unarmed when the three men chased him on February 2, 2020. Bryan recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael killing Arbery with a shotgun, the Associated Press reported.

"Ain't no man or woman above the law and it was a great day when they arrested, or charged that Jackie Johnson," said Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, WSBTV reported.

Johnson was also accused of obstructing the case by telling the police not to arrest Travis McMichael, according to NBC Los Angeles.

"I wouldn't do something of this magnitude," Johnson said in a 2020 radio interview with the Butch and Bob Show. "What we were doing was trying to make the best decisions we could at the time, and we were not trying to do anything to manipulate this case."

The indictment alleges that Johnson reached out to Waycross District Attorney George E. Barnhill for legal guidance, but she didn't know that Barnhill had already given police an assessment that said the shooting happened in self-defense in the act of a citizen's arrest on behalf of Greg McMichael.

The Arbery family reportedly want the indictment of Barnhill, who has not been charged yet and remains in office.

Jury selection for the Arbery case is scheduled to start on October 18.

Newsweek contacted Arbery's family attorney Lee Meritt for further comments, but didn't receive a response in time for publication.

 Arbery family comment on former DA indictment
Ahmaud Arbery's family believes that former district attorney should go to prison for her conduct in the victim's case. Above, a painting of Ahmaud Arbery is displayed during a vigil at New Springfield Baptist Church on February 23 in Waynesboro, Georgia. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images