The trial over Ahmaud Arbery’s killing is underway and a testimony from an officer has revealed that he was ill-prepared to assist the 25-year-old in his final moments.
On Monday, former Glynn County police officer Ricky Minshew, who was the first officer to respond to the scene of the February 23, 2020 shooting, testified that he did not administer first aid to Arbery for a number of reasons. The first reason being that he was solely focused on his own safety, CNN reported.
“When I get to a scene, I scan the area for any immediate threats, and then scan the area for any victims that need emergency medical aid,” Minshew said.
The former officer said he was responding to a report of a “suspicious Black male” when he heard gunshots and saw the defendants Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael pacing back and forth while Arbery was face down lying in a pool of blood, Yahoo reported.
“Being that I was the only officer on scene, without having any other police units to watch my back, there was no way I could have switched my attention to anything medical and still be able to watch my surroundings and watch after my own safety,” he testified.
Minshew also stated that he wasn’t properly trained to assist Arbery medically and his vehicle was not equipped with tools that would have aided the 25-year-old man. He said as soon as he saw Arbery lying face down on the ground, he placed a call for emergency medical personnel to respond to the scene.
He also stated before the court that he believed Arbery’s health had deteriorated beyond the point of any assistance because he heard a type of strained breathing, also known as the “death rattle” come from Arbery’s body. The former officer said he’s dealt with previous cases where he’s heard the “death rattle” from other victims, who didn’t survive much longer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Minshew also stated he didn’t administer aid to Arbery because he was focused on preserving “scene integrity” so that investigators would be able to properly do their jobs when they arrived.
The former officer’s body camera footage of the incident was shown in court, and Arbery’s mother hopes the jury will see that her son was a victim of brutal killing at the hand of the defendants.
The trial is expected to go on for the next two to three weeks.