Even in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the infamous American tradition of
unarmed Black men being killed is still making its way to the forefront of society.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, is the latest victim whose story now joins the headlines about the
coronavirus. Reports indicate he was fatally shot while jogging in a mostly white Brunswick,
Georgia neighborhood on Feb. 23 by white father and son Gregory and Travis
McMichael. The duo claim Arbery resembled another Black man they claim has robbed homes
in their neighborhood and they say they were making a citizen’s arrest.
“The series of events captured in this video confirm what all the evidence indicated prior to its
release—Ahmaud Arbery was pursued by three white men that targeted him solely because of
his race and murdered him without justification. This is murder,” the family’s attorney Lee Merritt said on social media.
A 36-second video of the incident was caught on a cellphone by William Bryan, who was also following Arbery in his vehicle. In the video, Arbery jogs up to a pickup truck where Gregory is
standing on the truck bed. Travis comes out of the truck with a shotgun. Arbery crosses from the
left side of the road to the right side. He is approached by Travis where the two struggle and
three shots are heard. Arbery is then seen collapsing face down on the street.
Reports indicate that Arbery was shot twice in the chest and suffered a shotgun graze to his
Gregory is a retired investigator who worked with the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District
Attorney’s Office and previously worked as a police officer for the Glynn County Police
Department. When the shooting occurred, the Brunswick District Attorney’s Office advised
police not to arrest Travis and Gregory. Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George
Barnhill also said no arrest should be made.
Video of the shooting surfaced last week and shortly after, Travis and Gregory were arrested
and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault––74 days after killing Arbery. Law enforcement reportedly told Arbery’s mother that he committed a burglary and that a struggle over a firearm is what killed him.
Barnhill has recused himself from the case along with Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson because they previously worked with Gregory. The case is now being handled by Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes, a Black woman.
“I feel better. Now I have a sense of hope,” Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones said. “At one
point, in the beginning, I didn’t have any hope that anything would ever be done about it
because I was getting all conflicting information.”
Outrage has ensued over the situation with protests took place in Atlanta in other places. Many
are calling Arbery’s killing racially motivated and a modern day lynching.
Rev. Al Sharpton recently led a virtual rally from the National Action Network’s headquarters in
“The victory is not when the two men were arrested it is when there is justice for this young man
and his family,” Sharpton said. “The arrest last night of two of the three people involved is the
beginning of a legal process, it is not the end.”