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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/8/20

"A Lynch Mob": After Months of Inaction, 2 White Men Are Charged with Murder of Ahmaud Arbery in GA

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The two white men caught on camera shooting and killing Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old African American man, were arrested and charged Thursday with murder. The arrests came two days after video of the attack in February was shared with the public, sparking widespread outrage. Today would have been Arbery's 26th birthday. We speak with civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents the Arbery family and formerly represented Trayvon Martin.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: The two White men who were caught on film shooting and killing Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old African American man, in February, were arrested and charged with murder, two days after the video was shared with the public, sparking widespread outrage. Retired police officer Gregory McMichael and his son Travis were both charged with murder and aggravated assault, and booked in Glynn County, Georgia, where the killing took place more than two months ago. Their arrests follow days of protest over the details of the case and the fact that the two men walked free for months after slaying Arbery.

The disturbing video that emerged Tuesday shows Ahmaud Arbery jogging down a narrow road in Brunswick, Georgia, in broad daylight, when he's confronted by the two armed men. As Arbery jogs, Travis McMichael can be seen waiting for him in the road with a shotgun while his father stands in the back of a pickup truck with a revolver. After a brief confrontation, Arbery is shot at three times. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations said in a news briefing Travis McMichael is the one who shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery.

The video was filmed by a third White man, William Bryan. Journalist Shaun King said on Twitter Friday Bryan is also being charged but has not yet been arrested. The Brunswick police reportedly had a copy of the shocking video since February, but before Thursday no charges had been filed against the McMichaels, who claimed they chased Arbery because he looked like a burglary suspect. Gregory McMichael is a former officer with the Glynn County Police Department, who also worked as an investigator in the District Attorney's Office there.

This is Ahmaud Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper, in an exclusive interview last week with activist and journalist Shaun King for his new podcast, The Breakdown.

WANDA COOPER: He was killed, and he was killed in the street, after he was chased down and cut off by two vehicles. And nobody went to jail.


WANDA COOPER: Nobody went to jail behind it. You know, they were able to go home, and my baby was placed in a body bag. You know, that's not that's not fair.

AMY GOODMAN: Today would have been Ahmaud Arbery's 26th birthday. The local NAACP chapter will protest outside the Brunswick courthouse in Georgia today. Under the hashtag #IRunWithMaud, people are pledging to run 2.23 miles today to mark the day Ahmaud Arbery was killed, February 23rd, and send pictures.

We're joined now by Benjamin Crump, civil rights attorney representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery. He is the author of Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People.

Welcome back to Democracy Now!, Ben Crump. Can you explain what exactly happened? We are seeing this video for the first time this week, but Ahmaud was murdered on February 23rd. What happened?

BENJAMIN CRUMP: Well, Amy, it is clear from the video that this murderous duo, this father and son, the McMichaels, profiled Ahmaud Arbery, we believe, because the basis of his race. They claim that, like with Trayvon Martin, that he was burglarizing a home or he had committed a burglary, yet there's no burglary mask, there's no burglary tools, there's no burglary bag. I mean, he has a T-shirt and shorts on. But yet they claim that's the reason they stopped him.

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