People everywhere are talking about Ahmaud Arbery. Who was Ahmaud Arbery? He was a former high school football player, a son, a friend, and someone who was taken away far too soon.
More than two months ago, Ahmaud was shot to death while running through a Georgia neighborhood. The people responsible for ending his life say they were trying to make a citizen’s arrest. Father and son Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael claimed they thought Arbery responsible for recurring break-ins in the area. They believe this gave them the right to shoot him three times.
It took the dedication of an angry American public for any action to be done. According to Ben Crump, the Arbery family’s attorney, “They did not arrest the killers of Ahmaud Arbery because they saw the video. They arrested the killers of Ahmaud Arbery because we saw the video, the public saw the video and it went viral. It was shocking.”
Reason states that there were several conflicts of interests which delayed the arrest of these men, one of the major ones being that Gregory McMichael was a former police officer. Additionally, in a letter to Captain Tom Jump of the Glynn County Police Department, it was expressed that based on the autopsy and the video, an arrest was not warranted.
The American public did not agree. U.S representative Justin Amash tweeted, “The horrific murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia is a reminder that we still do not live the truth that all are created equal. He was gunned down without regard for his humanity. The video is sickening and heartbreaking, and his family deserves justice.”
Presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted, “The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder.”
In addition to American politicians, musicians Jay-z, Alicia Keys, and Meek Mill have urged Georgia officials to take swift action in the case. According to Page Six, they signed an open letter which, “calls on District Attorney Tom Durden to be recused from the case over a conflict of interest,” as Gregory McMichael was a former police officer. It also asks to appoint a special prosecutor, “so a fair trial can be achieved.”
Finally, two months after Arbery’s horrific death, the arrests were made; however, we still have a long way to go.
In memory of Arbery, runners around the world are dedicating 2.23 miles to Arbery. As told by CNN, the 2.23 miles is “symbolic of the date Arbery was fatally shot and killed while running– February 23, 2020.”
Document your run with the hashtag #IRunWithMaud to continue to raise awareness to the case. People all over are coming together to stand behind Arbery and support his family during this time. We will not rest until justice is served.