On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man from Brunswick, Georgia, USA, was murdered by white men, while jogging. The three men, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan, are accused of killing him. The cold blooded murder was one of several killings of Black men that ignited a wave of racial justice protests across the U.S. The jury selection was underway on Monday October 18, 2021 in the trial of the three men charged with the murder.
In June 2020, following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May 2000, Sen Elizabeth Warren, referred to the murder while introducing an amendment calling on the Department of Defense to rename military bases named after Confederate soldiers. Speaking on the amendment from the Senate floor on June 30, Warren declared that Black lives matter:
"For weeks, all across this nation, Americans have taken to the streets to call for justice and call for an end to the racist violence that has stolen far too many Black lives," she said at the time. "We say the names of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and Atatiana Jefferson and so many other Black men and women to reaffirm the simple but powerful truth that they mattered. Their lives mattered. Black lives matter."
Arbery, then a high school athlete, was known to love to run. The day of he was murdered, he was out for a jog when the three men charged with his murder, chased him down in pickup trucks. The white men claim that they suspected him for a still unproven series of burglaries in the residential neighborhood. Arbery was shot three times with a shotgun.
None of the men were charged immediately after Arbery's shooting. It is only when the video footage taken by William Bryan became public, around 2 months and 1/2 later, that the charges were filed. Following the video footage, the Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into Jackie Johnson and another district attorney's handling of the case and that is when the charges were filed. Then potential conflicts of interest were uncovered for several prosecutors. They recused themselves, under public pressure. Then the former district attorney Jackie Johnson, voted out, was charged with misconduct for interfering with police at the scene of the shooting.
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The trial will be closely followed by the civil rights activists. If those responsible for the murder are held accountable, it will be another step towards raising the awareness that: Black Lives Matter.(see USA-Black Lives Matter: May 25 - Remembering the Murder of George Floyd and Commitment March in Washington, DC: Fight Against Institutional Racism in America)
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