As national outrage grows over the alleged killing of 25-year-old jogger Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of a father and son in Brunswick, Georgia, artists including T.I., Common, Ciara, Jermaine Dupri, Justin Timberlake and many more have tweeted demanding justice in what some have described as a modern-day lynching.
The anger has been flamed by a graphic video of the alleged killing, shown from a vehicle following Arbery as he jogs down a rural road toward a pickup truck parked on the side of the road. At some point, 34-year-old Travis McMichael, holding a shotgun, and his father, 64-year-old Gregory McMichael, standing in the flatbed of the truck, come into frame and confront Arbery, who fights with Travis McMichael over his shotgun.
After shots go off, Arbery tries to run from the men and, seemingly wounded, crumples to the ground. The video ends at that point, but after Arbery fell the younger McMichael allegedly rolled over his body with the vehicle “to see if the male had a weapon,” according to a police report obtained by the New York Times. McMichael had blood on his hands when police arrived and Arbery later died of his wounds, with Gregory McMichael telling police that he and his son chased Arbery, who they said they thought was a “suspect” in a rash of local break-ins, with both men grabbing weapons because they “didn’t know if the male was armed or not.”
Police said Arbery was not armed and not a suspect in any crime, but instead was a former football player who frequently jogged through the neighborhood for exercise. Neither man — Gregory McMichael is reportedly a former Glynn County police officer and former investigator with the local D.A.’s office — has been arrested or charged since the Feb. 23 incident. After two prosecutors recused themselves from the case due to ties to McMichael, a third prosecutor said on Tuesday that the case should be heard by a grand jury.
The release of the video on Tuesday has led to growing outrage over the case, with a number of prominent artists and activists weighing in, including T.I., who wrote “It won’t stop until we stop it!!” and Common, who said, “With all that’s going on with COVID-19, we still can’t forget and just sit around when lives are being taken for no reason. Let’s commit action to what Justice is supposed to be in America and the world. God Bless. #JusticeForAhmaud.”
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