You can’t even jog while being black.
After hesitation to charge a father and son for the shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, the case will now go to a grand jury in coastal Georgia. A video, in the moments leading up to the killing, filled social media timelines yesterday and helped convince authorities to take action.
I am trembling with anger over what I just witnessed. CLICK AWAY if you need to.
We need ALL HANDS ON DECK.
This is the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery.
It’s one of the worst things I’ve seen in my entire life.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) May 5, 2020
Arbery was jogging through a neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23 when the former police officer and son chased him down.
Gregory McMichael initially called 911 and the operator asked the McMicheals what criminal act Arbery was committing. They did not have an answer.
In a Glyn County Police report McMichael says “his son Travis hopped out of the truck with his shotgun when Arbery wouldn’t stop as they asked. Then McMichael alleges that Arbery “violently” attacked Travis.” However, the video shows otherwise with Arbery swerving out of their way to avoid them, as he runs in a yard around their truck, but Travis follows him to the front of the truck with his shotgun and a fight over the gun ensues.
A local radio station website posted the 36-second video but it has since been taken down. The person who captured the footage is still unknown, but the angle suggests someone who pulled behind the pickup truck and shot the video.
In a statement to the New York Times, a lawyer for Arbery’s family said the video clearly showed a criminal act. “This is murder,” said S Lee Merritt. “The series of events captured in this video confirms what all the evidence indicated prior to its release.”
“I just think about how they could allow these two men to kill my son and not be arrested, that’s what I can’t understand,” said Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper.
John Perry, a pastor and president of the local chapter of the NAACP said: “It’s our hope this is tried outside of this area so we don’t get a jury that’s partial in any kind of way.”
Gregory McMichael is also a former investigator for the district attorney in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit.
Once again, we see the disregard for Black lives. We can’t jog, we can’t play in the park, we can’t even breathe without becoming targets to those filled with hatred over the color of someone’s skin.
Our thoughts go out to the entire Arbery family and friends.