Family says former DA facing charges over handling of Ahmaud Arbery case ‘needs to go to jail’

ATLANTA — The family of Ahmaud Arbery call the indictment of a former district attorney a huge win.

Former Glynn County prosecutor Jackie Johnson faces potential prison time for her role in an alleged coverup in the case.

The three men accused of killing Arbery are set for trial next month. But with Johnson’s indictment Thursday, Arbery’s family say Johnson should be locked up too.

“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.

Cooper said Johnson should go to prison for what she believes was a coverup of her son’s death.

”Ahmaud was killed, and nothing was done,” Cooper said.

Johnson was the Glynn County District Attorney in February of last year when three men, camera rolling, chased Arbery down in a neighborhood outside of Brunswick.


During a struggle, Arbery was shot and killed. One of the three suspects, Greg McMichael, was a former investigator in Johnson’s office.

The indictment accuses Johnson of showing favor to McMichael, failing to treat the Arberys with dignity, and obstructing the investigation by telling police not to arrest McMichael’s son Travis.

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

In a radio interview last year, Johnson denied any wrongdoing.

”I wouldn’t do something of this magnitude,” Johnson said in the 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.”

Cooper said she still lives with the pain.

”They will go off to jail, but Ahmaud is never coming home,” Cooper said. The family also wants Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill indicted.

Johnson sent the case to him after she pulled out of it. He refused to file charges as well.

Barnhill is still in office and has not been charged.