Cries for justice in Ahmed Aubrey killing

Ahmaud Arbery

Ahmaud Arbery

Jordyn Bew, Entertainment Editor

Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was killed in February in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia. A father and son told police they saw him running and believed he was a burglary suspect; they told police Arbery attacked them after one of the men got out of the truck with a shotgun.

Arbery ‘s family attorneys along with civil rights activists are urging law enforcement authorities to apprehend and charge two armed white men who killed Arbery, an unarmed black man, as he jogged through a neighborhood in southern Georgia.

The incident, which happened Feb. 23  in the city of Brunswick in Glynn County, was captured on a video that has been spread widely on social media.

Attorneys say they believe Arbery was a victim of racial profiling and they’re unwilling to wait for a grand jury to convene on the charges, which may not happen for another month because of the coronavirus, Georgia courts are largely closed through June 12.

“We want an immediate arrest because we don’t think there should be two justice systems in America – one for black America and one for white America,” said Ben Crump, an attorney who is representing the Arbery family. “Ahmaud Arbery’s life matters, and the fact that you have proof of the crime, you have a video … black people get arrested every day with far less evidence.”

Lee Merritt, who is partnering with Crump to represent the family, shared the video of the incident on his Twitter page saying, “This is murder.” 

Civil rights groups including the ACLU, NAACP, and Southern Poverty Law Center have called for justice, comparing the incident with Trayvon Martin ‘s controversial killing in which the killer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted.

Georgia NAACP President James Woodall called the shooting “white supremacy full-on.” He said he is planning a protest at the Glynn County courthouse.

“Until this country can truly acknowledge the ills of its system, we will continue to see black blood drain our streets,” Woodall said. 

Arbery was killed after being followed and confronted by Gregory and Travis McMichael that afternoon in the Satilla Shores neighborhood, lawyers say. 

Family members say Arbery lived nearby with his mother. 

According to a police report obtained by The New York Times, Gregory McMichael told police he believed Arbery was the person seen on a surveillance video breaking into homes.

Gregory McMichael said he was in his front yard when he spotted Arbery and he and his son grabbed their guns from inside the house because they “didn’t know if the male was armed or not.”  The father and son then got in their truck and began chasing Arbery. 

Gregory McMichael told police they shouted to Arbery “stop stop, we want to talk to you.” He said Travis McMichael then got out of the truck and Arbery began to “violently attack” him. The two fought over Travis McMichael’s shotgun before two shots rang out, the report says. Arbery then fell face down on the pavement.

Advocates launched a petition demanding that the Department of Justice and FBI investigate the case and file charges. Their efforts worked; all three men involved have been taken into custody and charged with the murder of Arbery.

Arbery’s father, Marcus, said his son was an avid jogger who also loved to play football. 

“He was a good-hearted young man,” Marcus Arbery said. “He cared about people and family and he wouldn’t never hurt nobody.”

#JoggingWhileBlack is a new hashtag that has taken flight on social media because of the outrage for what happened to Arbery. This brings up the question everyone must face, is being black a crime? Those who are showing support for the Arbery family and to bring attention for a need for justice are using the hashtag #IrunwithAhmaud.