Linda Dunikoski, the lead prosecutor in the trial of Ahmaud Arbery's killing, argued that the defendants cannot use the claim of self-defense.
"One can use lethal force and self-defense, but only under certain circumstances. You can't claim self-defense if you are the unjustified initial aggressor — meaning if you started it. Who started this? Wasn't Ahmaud Arbery," Dunikoski said during the prosecution's final rebuttal this morning.
Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., who are White, face charges including malice and felony murder in the killing of Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, after chasing him in a neighborhood near Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23, 2020.
"They started it; they do not get to claim self-defense. And then, of course, provocation. You can't force someone to defend themselves against you so you get to claim self-defense. This isn't the Wild West. No. So there's three instances where the defendants don't get to claim self-defense," Dunikoski said to the jury.
"This is the important one: cannot commit aggravated assault with a shotgun, with trucks, false imprisonment, or criminal attempt at false imprisonment, any of those. Not justified using force, if you're doing any of those things; they were doing all four of them. And you're not justified in using force, if that person was the unjustified aggressor. You can't start it and claim self-defense," she said.