Graphic video that showed the shooting of a Black man whose only apparent crime was jogging with brown skin in Georgia leaked on Tuesday in the latest chapter of the ongoing saga to bring his killers to justice.
Ahmaud Arbery was out for a run in broad daylight in February when a pair of white vigilantes racially profiled him and allegedly tried to make a citizen’s arrest of Arbery when they purportedly and inexplicably suspected he was a burglar. It was only after the New York Times covered the shooting late last month that the case got national attention — more than two months after Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael saw Arbery running, grabbed a .357 magnum revolver and a shotgun, hopped into a truck, followed him and shot him to death.
The leaked video offered the world — including Arbery’s family — a chance to see exactly what happened. It was unclear who was recording the video at the time of the shooting. It was also unclear who leaked the video.
The graphic video follows, please exercise discretion when watching it.
It also finally compelled some legal action, considering that the McMichaels have been shielded from prosecution by a Georgia’s citizen’s arrest statute. The local prosecutor in the town of Brunswick, where Arbery was killed, formally recommended that a grand jury review the case, according to News 4 JAX.
“I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr. Arbery,” Tom Durden, District Attorney Pro Tempore for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, wrote in a press release.
Complicating matters is the fact that Gregory McMichael is a retired investigator in the office of a district attorney who previously recused himself from the case.
Arbery’s family released a statement following the video being leaked.
“If me and Ahmaud had been in a truck with guns and killed [McMichael’s] son, we would be arrested,” Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery, said in a brief statement on Tuesday. “We need them to arrest the people who killed my son. It’s not fair that they get to be together, while I have to mourn Ahmaud on what would have been his 26th birthday.”
The ACLU of Georgia compared Arbery’s killing to that of Trayvon Martin, the Black teenager who was killed by neighborhood watch volunteer over unfounded suspicions.
“The vigilante behavior that we saw in Brunswick is unacceptable in a civilized society. We call on the officials in Brunswick to enforce the rule of law so that it can be safe for citizens to walk the streets,” Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, said in a brief statement. “Ahmaud was killed three days before the anniversary of the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin. Both incidents are a reminder that white supremacy has been a foundation for our country and leads repeatedly to the targeting and harming people of color, particularly African Americans.”