There’s been a lynching in Georgia.
WARNING: Link includes a bystander video that shows graphic violence during Ahmaud Arbery’s murder on February 23, 2020.
This is Ahmaud Arbery. He was a former high school football standout who lived with his mother outside Brunswick, Georgia. Friends and family say he stayed fit and often jogged in and around the neighborhood; Ahmaud was on one of those jogs when he was accosted by a white man and his son.
Which brings us to Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34.
Gregory is a former police officer as well as a former private investigator with the District Attorney’s office. Gregory was reportedly in his front yard when Arbery jogged past and decided he looked like a man suspected of several break-ins in the area. While someone else might consider calling that tip into the police Gregory instead called to his son, grabbed a .357 magnum and a shotgun, and chased Arbery down in a pickup truck. There’s a report of a third male involved in the pursuit.
According to Gregory McMichaels they yelled, “Stop, stop, we want to talk to you” during the chase but I would imagine Arbery knew better than to stop for two white male civilians toting guns. Video shows the McMichaels shooting an unarmed Arbery in the road.
It’s been three long months since Arbery’s murder so you might be wondering how men chasing down and killing an unarmed jogger hasn’t resulted in charges yet. There’s video proof identifying them. Shouldn’t someone have been arrested by now? Except the thing is if you’re wondering why nothing’s happened the odds are good you’re in a position of privilege here, and I’d say if you asked a person of color they’d tell you that’s just another day in America.
The first two prosecutors recused themselves due to conflicts of interest but the third prosecutor states he’ll ask a grand jury to bring charges when they convene in June. Arbery’s family attorney shared the cellphone video implicating the McMichaels. Now all that’s left is to see if Georgia takes a stand against armed white vigilantes being cop, judge, and jury any damn place they please.
Fausset, Richard. “What we know about the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.” The Baltimore Sun. The New York Times, May 6 2020, 12:10am, Atlanta. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation-world/ct-nw-nyt-what-we-know-shooting-death-ahmaud-arbery-georgia-20200506-qhl2l7ax4bdprb7f4pgyk6bcom-story.html.
Villafranca, Omar. “New video emerges of fatal shooting of black jogger in Georgia.” CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell. ©2020 CBS Interactive Inc. May 6, 2020, 10:31 AM. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ahmaud-arbery-black-jogger-georgia-fatal-shooting-video/.