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Police officer claims he didn’t render aid to Ahmaud Arbery for ‘safety’ reasons

Ricky Minshew testified that he saw Arbery laying in a pool of blood when he arrived at the scene but chose not to perform CPR.

The first police officer to respond to the scene after Ahmaud Arbery was blasted with a shotgun in February 2020 testified Monday that he didn’t provide aid to Arbery as he lay dying because he wanted to protect his own safety. 

Three white men — Gregory McMichael; his son, Travis McMichael; and William Bryan — have been charged with murder in the death of Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who had been jogging in a southern Georgia neighborhood when he was chased down and killed. All three defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Ricky Minshew — who was a patrol officer in Glynn County, Georgia, at the time of Arbery’s death — testified that he arrived at the scene about a minute after Travis McMichael shot Arbery three times. He said he saw a bloody shotgun in the grass nearby when he pulled up to investigate. 

“Without having any other police units to have my back, there was no way I could switch to do anything medical and still watch after my own safety,” Minshew said.

Ricky Minshew — a former police officer for Glynn County, Georgia — testified Monday that that he didn't render aid to Ahmaud Arbery because he wanted to protect his own safety.MSNBC / Getty

Minshew testified that he could see Arbery laying in a pool of his own blood as soon as he arrived and could hear a “death rattle,” a phrase he used to describe Arbery’s labored breathing. Still, the officer claimed he didn’t try to render medical aid because it might not have been safe. Instead, Minshew focused on preserving the “scene integrity” for investigators and requested emergency medical responders, he said.

Minshew testified that he knew how to perform CPR but didn’t do so with Arbery because he “did not know any of the people or any of the facts or circumstances to what had happened.” Another Glynn County police officer, William Duggan, testified Friday that he attempted to render aid after arriving at the scene, shortly after Minshew.

During his testimony, Minshew described a conversation he had with Bryan at the scene. Minshew said Bryan, who had recorded the defendants’ pursuit of Arbery, was “cooperative’’ during the conversation and second-guessed whether the chase had been justified. 

Travis McMichael’s attorney said his client had been acting in self-defense when he shot Arbery. He said the McMichaels believed Arbery was a burglar and that they were conducting a legal citizen’s arrest when they pursued him. (Arbery entered a house that was under construction, but a lawyer for the homeowner said nothing was stolen.)

“Should I have been chasing him?” Bryan said, according to Minshew’s testimony. “I don’t know.”

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