The United States Department of Justice is investigating whether Ahmaud Arbery‘s shooting may qualify as a hate crime and cover-up.

The family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, announced this week that investigators are inquiring into a potential cover-up of Ahmaud’s videotaped shooting.

The 25-year-old African American man was shot on February 23, while jogging unarmed near his home in Brunswick, Georgia. The man was confronted by two white residents, Travis McMichael and his father Gregory McMichael, who followed him with a pickup truck and eventually shot him to death.

The two men were not prosecuted by Georgia officials, who initially ordered police officers not to arrest them. After the release of a phone video, which was recorded by a witness, William “Roddie” Bryan, who was following the duo in a second vehicle, dramatized the killing, the McMichaels were arrested on murder charges.

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“Because if you shoot anybody in the street in broad daylight, just in general you expect at least an arrest,” Merritt told TMZ Monday. “There were no arrests made—we went for three months without any major arrest. So we’re looking at both the state entities, but you also have to go after the state actors as well.”

Merritt accused Georgia law enforcement and local prosecutors of being part of a “vast conspiracy” for failing to file charges over the course of three months.

The McMichaels claimed that they believed Ahmaud to be the burglar responsible for a series of recent crimes that had happened in Glynn County, near Brunswick.


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