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US prosecutor vows justice for slain black jogger

"We know that we have a broken family and a broken community down in Brunswick."

Demonstrators raise their fists at a parade of passing motorcyclists riding in honor of Ahmaud Arbery at Sidney Lanier Park on May 9, 2020 in Brunswick, Georgia. Arbery was shot and killed while jogging in the nearby Satilla Shores neighborhood on February 23. Sean Rayford/Getty Images/AFP

WASHINGTON - US authorities on Friday said they do not expect any more arrests in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black jogger and they would soon wrap up their investigation of the case that sparked nationwide outrage.

Three white men have been arrested in connection with the death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, who was killed on February 23 while running in a residential neighborhood in the town of Brunswick, Georgia.

"We feel confident the individuals who needed to be charged have been charged," Vic Reynolds, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), said at a press conference. "I don't anticipate us doing much more."

Retired police officer Gregory McMichael, 64, and his 34-year-old son Travis were arrested two weeks ago, more than two months after the shooting.

Their arrest came two days after the release of a cellphone video shot by a neighbor, William Bryan Jr, which shows Arbery being pursued by the McMichaels in a pickup truck and eventually gunned down.

Bryan, 50, was arrested on Thursday and charged with murder and attempted false imprisonment in connection with Arbery's death.

Cobb County district attorney Joyette Holmes said she aware of the emotions stirred up by the shooting.

"We are going to make sure that we find justice in this case," Holmes said. "We know that we have a broken family and a broken community down in Brunswick."

'Very disturbing' video

The video of Arbery's shooting sent shockwaves across the United States, galvanizing activists who said the death highlighted deeply rooted racism in parts of the country.

US President Donald Trump said he had seen the video and called it "very disturbing."

A lawyer for Bryan, the neighbor who recorded the video, has claimed he was just a bystander to Arbery's death and was unarmed.

But the arrest warrant against Bryan accuses him of taking part in the chase and using his own vehicle with the "intention of confining and detaining Arbery."

"I can tell you that if we believed he was a witness, we would not have arrested him," Reynolds said.

Reynolds also defended the conduct of law enforcement in what has become a highly publicised case.

"Our agents have made arrests based on facts of the case," he said. "They haven't made any arrests based on any pressure, any type of social media, phone calls or anything of that nature."

Reynolds said he hoped the handling of the case by the GBI "brings an air of credibility to the criminal justice system particularly here in our state."

Gregory McMichael had long worked in the local district attorney's office as an investigator and the first two prosecutors in the case recused themselves, although it took several weeks for the second one to do so.

In the original police report, Gregory McMichael claimed he thought Arbery was a burglar trying to escape the scene of a nearby break-in.

He said he and his son grabbed their guns and set off in pursuit, but that the confrontation went badly wrong.

The slain man's family says he was simply out jogging and was the victim of a hate crime.

Timeline

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