Ahmaud Arbery: Citizens Arrest, Part 2: May 15, 2020

Hey folks,

In yesterday’s show I presented the provocative and controversial argument that, in fact and law, the GA citizens arrest law is irrelevant to whether the conduct of Travis McMichael and/or Greg McMichael was criminal with respect to the death of Ahmaud Arbery. I also made the same argument during a lengthy, 3.5 hour, interview on the Rekieta Law YouTube show last night.

You can find yesterday’s Law of Self Defense show here:

Ahmaud Arbery: For Your Consideration: May 14, 2020

Today, naturally a day after yesterday’s show, well-respected Professor John Banzhaf, George Washington University Law School, issued a press release in which he also argues that citizens arrest law is irrelevant to this case. (I presume he arrived at his position independently of my show yesterday.)

In the interests of sharing with the Law of Self Defense community the fact that it’s not just small-town lawyer Andrew Branca arguing that citizens arrest is in fact irrelevant to this case, but as well-respected a law professor as John Banzhaf, I share that press release with you in a roughly cited form in today’s show, and the actual press release itself below this video of today’s show.

Enjoy the show!

You can find a replay of the Rekieta Law show here:

Part 1: Andrew Branca about Ahmaud Arbery | Rekieta Law:

Part 2: Andrew Branca about Ahmaud Arbery | Rekieta Law

Part 3: Andrew Branca about Ahmaud Arbery | Rekieta Law

Part 4: Andrew Branca about Ahmaud Arbery | Rekieta Law

LIVE INTERVIEW: Andrew Branca about Ahmaud Arbery | Rekieta Law


You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

Know the law so you’re hard to convict!

Stay safe!


Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
Law of Self Defense CONSULT Program

6 thoughts on “Ahmaud Arbery: Citizens Arrest, Part 2: May 15, 2020”

  1. Andrew, on your previous video you asked that anyone with evidence that Travis pointed his shotgun at Arbery should share it with you.

    I sent you this stabilized version of the shooting video that seems to clearly indicate that Travis was pointing his shotgun at Arbery long before the scuffle took place.


    When asked what your stance would be if we assume this is what Travis is doing when he moves his arms up to shoulder height on either side if his body while holding his weapon, you replied,

    “Arbery is running directly at Travis McMichael, so Travis making a defensive motion with his gun would be characterized an act of self-defense against an oncoming Arbery. It’s indisputable that at this moment it is Arbery closing on the McMichaels, not the McMichaels closing on Arbery.”

    However, your exact quote about Arbery being asked to stop by Travis in the previous video is that

    “Arbery is entirely free to say ‘nope, I’m not interested in talking to you. Piss off.’ Then if they point guns at him or they try to use force, that becomes a different situation.”

    Do you now contend that Travis had reasonable fear that Arbery is closing on the McMichaels from the beginning of the video because he did not stop when asked? Arbery was running in that direction before Travis parked his truck in the road. If Travis was reasonably afraid enough of that forward movement to threaten lethal force, would he have puposefully put himself in front of the forward movement he had already observed?

    I can’t believe that constitutes self defense as you have laid out in this series.

    1. What I heard Andrew say was that if Arbery charged Travis and tried to wrestle his firearm from him, this was the deadly threat by Arbery that would justify deadly-force self-defense by Travis. Now, this is an assumption about what happened based on a pretty crappy quality video, but by the same token, I sure don’t see that the video demonstrates the alternative claim that Travis attacked Arbery first. One can only hope for more and better evidence.

      I can hardly wait for the trial on this. I expect it to be hugely interesting. This particular poor quality video is going to be sliced, diced, analyzed, parsed, interpreted, and opined on more than any video since the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination.

  2. Given that the aggravated assault charge is the predicate crime for the felony murder charge, and everything therefore hinges on that, my instinct here is that the prosecution will come up with some creative legal reasoning focused on the language in the Georgia assault statute, the particular part of which being:

    “(2) Commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.”

    Then the prosecution adds the presence of firearms to boot-strap that up to aggravated assault.

    You mentioned that it is also required for assault that the behavior in question must be illegal in some way. But that is case law (Woodruff v. Woodruff), not in the language of the statute itself. You mentioned that Arbery’s state of mind is not relevant to whether the McMichaels committed aggravated assault, but I can imagine the prosecution using the above language as a back-door way of making Arbery’s state of mind relevant. That is, was Arbury placed in “reasonable apprehension” of attack. In effect saying that, yes, maybe Travis McMichaels as “reasonable white man” didn’t consider it threatening to follow Arbury in the truck and then attempt to speak to him while holding, but not brandishing, a shotgun, whereas a “reasonable black man” would be put in apprehension of an imminent attack, and that’s all the statute requires to constitute assault – Arbery’s reasonable apprehension – Woodruff v. Woodruff notwithstanding.

    Such an approach by the prosecution would be so in tune with this racially charged case in our racially charged times.

  3. Pingback: Ahmaud Arbery Files – Law of Self Defense

  4. The reason the legality of the arrest is an issue is that Travis McMichael loses privilege if he is engaged in a felony, say attempted illegal imprisonment (or whatever that might be under GA law). Now, the prosecution hasn’t charged that, but someone might point out to them that aggravated assault isn’t the right charge, since there’s no good evidence for it. Bahnzahf somehow didn’t engage this at all. Anyway, if the arrest was authorized some possible felonies will go away.

    And if the McMichaels (or maybe it had to be Travis?) didn’t personally witness the misdemeanor criminal trespass that we know took place (the building WAS posted) I’m not convinced that they had reasonable suspicion of a felony. Prosecuting them for murder when all that stands between Travis and legally justified self defense is that Greg caught site of Arbery a couple seconds later than he needed to to personally observe an offense that anyway occurred seems to me completely opposed to the interests of justice, but technical guilt may apply.

  5. …anyway, if it can be demonstrated that Travis McMichael had a legal right to arrest Arbery the percentage chance that he will be convicted even if innocent should be reduced. I’ll be a lot more hopeful of a just verdict if Greg McMichael can convincingly demonstrate that he had immediate knowledge of an offense rather than just inferred one.

Leave a Comment