The Justice Department announced federal hate crime charges Wednesday in the death of a Georgia man who was killed while out for a run last year.

The criminal case charging the three men in connection with the death of Ahmaud Arbery is the most significant civil rights prosecution undertaken to date by the Biden administration Justice Department. It comes as federal officials have moved quickly to open sweeping investigations into troubled police departments as civil rights takes center stage among the department's priorities.

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Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory, and a third man, William “Roddie” Bryan, are all charged with one count of interference with civil rights and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels are also charged with using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

People holding colorful balloons stand together around a grave site, as one person kneels down and touches the ground.

In this Feb. 23, 2021, file photo, Wanda Cooper-Jones kneels before the grave of her son, Ahmaud Arbery, at the New Springfield Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Ga., to mark the one year anniversary of his death in Brunswick, Ga.

Lewis M. Levine / AP

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Few outside the Georgia port city of Brunswick paid much attention at first when Ahmaud Arbery was pursued by white men and shot to death while running through their neighborhood. A year later, as three men await trial in the Feb. 23, 2020 slaying, those closest to the 25-year-old Black man want to make sure Arbery's death isn't overlooked again.