A Georgia family is disappointed, and desperate for answers, surrounding the killing of their loved one. According to The New York Times, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was shot to death by a father and son while presumably out jogging in a suburban neighborhood near his home. Nobody has been held responsible.
In a NYT interview, the mother of Arbery said the search for answers and accountability has been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. “We can’t do anything because of this corona stuff,” Wanda Cooper lamented. “We thought about walking out where the shooting occurred, just doing a little march, but we can’t be out right now.”
Arbery’s story reads like Trayvon 2.0. Reports say he was jogging, as he often did, through a Georgia suburb in February. When he ran past a home, donning a white shirt, shorts and Nike sneakers, Gregory McMichael grabbed his gun and called out to his son to grab his, and they began following Arbery in their truck.
In a police report, McMichael says Arbery looked like a home burglary suspect responsible for a string of break-ins. They called out to him to “stop” with weapons in tow. The confrontation led to a struggle over the shotgun, and the death of Arbery. He was shot at least twice.
To date, nobody has been charged or arrested for the crime, but the Times obtained documents that suggest prosecutors believe the men were within their right, citing Georgia’s citizen’s arrest statute.
Due to conflicts of interest, Arbery’s family has suggested changes to those in charge of handling the case, and at least one prosecutor has recused himself. Still, it has not been determined if the case will go before a grand jury.
The family has started a Facebook page and has been working to get Arbery’s story out in the press, given the little visibility its seen. The hashtags #IRunWithMaud and #JusticeForAhmaud are being used to build solidarity. The family and activists contend that even if Arbery was guilty of the crimes the McMichaels say he committed, it did not warrant his killing by armed neighbors.