By Donovan Levine
“Until this country can truly acknowledge the ills of its system, we will continue to see black blood drain our streets.” These were the powerful words spoken by James Woodall, President of the Georgia National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Ahmaud Arbery, 25-years-old and unarmed, was killed while jogging through the streets of Brunswick, a suburb of Atlanta on Feb. 23, three days before the anniversary of the killing of Trayvon Martin.
On May 6, nearly three months later, a rather graphic video capturing the incident went viral and has sparked a nationwide outcry. The video was shared on Twitter by one of the family’s attorneys, S. Lee Merritt, Esq., who tweeted “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 Arbery family is pressing authorities to act. Attorneys believe this was a case of racial profiling, that Arbery’s killers targeted him because of his race alone. Ben Crump, an attorney partnering with Merritt to represent the family, made this statement, “We want an immediate arrest because we don’t think there should be two justice systems in America—one for black American and one for white America.”
Attorneys are waiting to see whether or not the case will be pushed to a grand jury to convene, which could take at least another month. All Georgia courthouses are closed until June 16, due to coronavirus.
The video has garnered responses from civil rights groups such as the ACLU, the NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center, pleading for justice on the matter. Public figure LeBron James expressed outrage in a pair of tweets, saying, “We are hunted.”
Former Vice President and presidential nominee Joe Biden requested a “swift, full, and transparent investigation” on the incident.
Arbery’s killers have been identified as Gregory McMichael and his son Travis. After video evidence and three months of investigation, an arrest had finally been made on May 7. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said they would look into the matter further.