In the afternoon of Feb. 23., Ahmaud Arbery was jogging when two residents of the neighborhood, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, presumed that Arbery resembled the suspect for the recent break-ins occurring in their neighborhood. They hunted him in their car, claimed that he attacked them, and shot him twice, killing him almost instantly.
In the afternoon of Feb. 23., Ahmaud Arbery was jogging when two residents of the neighborhood, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, presumed that Arbery resembled the suspect for the recent break-ins occurring in their neighborhood. They hunted him in their car, claimed that he attacked them, and shot him twice, killing him almost instantly. Police have stated that no report was filed for these alleged break-ins and Arbery was found to be unarmed.
Arbery's case did not attract much attention until May 5, the day the video of his murder was released. Overnight, his story caused a nationwide outcry to bring justice to his death and to punish those responsible. Two months after the murder, the McMichaels were arrested and charged with aggravated murder and assault. The delay was allegedly due to the Brunswick District Attorney, Jackie Johnson, who was accused of not allowing the arrest to go through. She has denied this claim and blamed the local police for the decision of their delayed arrest.
Arbery's family described him as a hardworking, generous, kind-hearted young man. In an interview with PBS News, Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones stated, “I honestly think that if we didn't get national attention to it, my son's death would have actually been a cover-up.” Jones explains her son's murder as a modern day lynching and asks the court to give the perpetrators the highest degree of punishment, the death penalty.
The injustice of Arbery’s case has caused major outrage across the nation. Blair junior Penny Mason describes her reaction to how the case has been panning out, “It's hard to see such a gruesome video like this and see that the police are still not handling his murder fairly,” says Mason. “Black violence like this and the way it's being treated by the police isn't an accident,” she adds as she recalls the footage.
Numerous Blair students took to social media to show their support for Arbery and his family. Students spread the recording of Arbery's murder and voiced their opinions on the injustice. “I just wish there wasn't so much hate in the world,” says sophomore Loren Riva-Clement, addressing Arbery's death.
Protests for Arbery's death demand for proper action be taken against the perpetrators and highlight the recurring factors of these killings. When asked about how to handle killings like this, sophomore Sasha Zirin expressed her concern with the police's morale. “What we need is more involvement with political powers that can put a leash on cops since cops haven't been acting moral on their own,” Zirin says. She feels the only way to ensure true equality is for equal punishment, “I think the system for prosecuting these people needs to change. The only way to charge these cases fairly is by looking at the evidence without bias,” she continues.
The unjustified murder of Ahmaud Arbery was one of many and will continune if we as a community do not take a stand against this racial bias. As Zirin puts it, “everyone is included in the fight for equality for black people, not just those affected by it.” Regardless of skin color, use your voice to spread awareness, make a change, and be outraged.
Sophia Lucarelli. staff writer More »