Ahmaud Arbery, a fit athlete, was out jogging near his home on a Sunday afternoon in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020, when two white supremacists saw him, got their guns, got in a truck, chased him down, pulled up next to him, shot him at least two times, and killed him right there on the spot. Ahmaud was unarmed, broke no laws, and did nothing wrong. He was only 25 years old when he died.
The attackers were Gregory McMichael, a former police officer and retired investigator for the DA’s office, and his son Travis. When Gregory saw Ahmaud running in his neighborhood, Satilla Shores, a predominately white community, he and his son immediately armed themselves with a shotgun and a 357 magnum, hopped into their pickup truck, chased him down and shot him claiming to make a citizens arrest.
Getting justice for Ahmaud has been an uphill battle from the start. Given the attackers’ close relationship with law enforcement, transparency and accountability cannot be taken for granted in any way. The Glynn County Police department, responsible for the initial investigation into Ahmaud’s death, is a notoriously corrupt institution.
Year after year, their officers have been involved in scandal after scandal, involving offenses like inappropriate sexual contact with informants in a narcotics investigation, and lying to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and interfering with investigations into police-involved shootings.
The initial police report shows an appalling lack of investigation into the case, citing only Gregory McMichael’s account of the case. The case has been passed along to a new prosecutor two times due to conflicts of interest, and now sits with prosecutor Tom Durden in Hinesville, Georgia. He must decide whether to move forward with pursuing charges against the men or to accept their explanation that the killing was justified in self-defense.
In light of overwhelming public pressure, DA Tom Durden has announced that he will bring the case before a Grand Jury to decide whether charges should be brought against these two men, and the FBI and GBI have involved themselves in the case, but our work is not done. Given the threat these two men pose to the public, they should be immediately arrested and held pending the Grand Jury decision. Also, given the facts of the case, the FBI must bring hate crime charges against the two men to hold them accountable for this act of racial violence.
Visit https://www.runwithmaud.com and sign the petition to help get justice for Arbery.