Written by Joaquin Cruz (News Writer)
In recent news of racism in America, a new case of murder had popped up due to the widespread sharing of Ahmaud Arbery’s death video. On February 23rd, he was shot and killed by two white supremacist/racist men, while another had videotaped the event rather than helping.
Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot and killed just a few miles from where his mother lived while doing a normal run. The two men behind the shooting were later revealed as Gregory McMichael (64 years old) and his son Travis McMichael (34 years old). The man that had recorded the event, William Bryan (50 years old) was later charged for being a part of the murder, specifically due to him recording it and not calling the police or helping Ahmaud. William was a neighbor during the events of Ahmaud being chased down by the McMichael’s and had decided to follow the truck being driven to record what was happening. While the shooting and recording happened much earlier this year, the video had only caught onto the media during the pandemic as of late April/early May. The video of Ahmaud being shot and killed was surfaced from a lawyer named Alan Tucker, who had given the video to a small radio station to go over the video and dispel “rumors” about the two men having confederate flags on the back of a white truck and white supremacist symbols. When the video hadsurfaced, it was found that Ahmaud had been running from the truck and that they had pulled next to Ahmaud and began pulling guns out, which led to the events of his death. After the shooting, Travis had called 911 stating that he had “caught a guy running into a house being built. Two houses down from me. When I turned around, he took off running into the house.” On police records of the calls they made, Gregory had called out to his son that Ahmaud had been getting away, in which they would continue to chase him down trying to block him off. Gregory had been stating that Travis was being assaulted by Ahmaud, which was completely untrue as the events were caught on camera by William.
Once Gregory and Travis were arrested, they had both been charged with aggravated assault and murder, while William was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. As a response from Donald Trump, he had stated that he found it to be “very disturbing” while running democratic candidate Joe Biden had said he felt that the video was like watching Ahmaud being “lynched before our very eyes.” When it comes to how these arrests came into action, it was completely due to the video surfacing from February. Before the video surfaced, nothing had been done about, no further investigation, nothing about looking into the key video evidence given, nothing. However, once the video had surfaced and hit the public eye, many posts using the hashtag, #irunwithahmaud, as well as public gatherings with signs saying “I run with Ahmaud.” This had caused the video and the news of Ahmaud’s death to go viral leading to the arrests of the McMichaels and finally William.
Over the trial, one of two prosecutors had stated that they felt the shooting was “perfectly legal” as it was seen as self-defense to use deadly force against him, especially since it was believed that Ahmaud had been struggling to get the shotgun out of Travis’s hands. “It appears their intent was to stop and hold this criminal suspect until law enforcement arrived. Under Georgia law, this is perfectly legal-“Arbery’s mental health records and prior convictions help explain his apparent aggressive nature and his possible thought pattern to attack an armed man.” said attorney George Barnhill. According to Ahmaud’s mother, Wanda Cooper, he was not armed during the time of his death. Police before the full report, at the time, had stated that Ahmaud was shot fatally while being involved with a robbery. In final statements of arrests made (William), the lawyers representing the Arbery family had stated that William’s, “involvement in the murder of Mr. Arbery was obvious to us, to many around the country and after their thorough investigation, it was clear to the GBI as well.” In a response from the public, thousands of people ran together (distanced) a total of 2.23 miles to remember Ahmaud on his birthday, where he would’ve been 26. This event will not be forgotten, nor will the fact that it took hundreds of thousands of people to repost the story of the video and Ahmaud’s death to finally get the 3 men arrested for the involvement of the shooting.