On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot dead while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia, according to CNN. The outlet reports that, according to those who knew Arbery, “the former high school soccer sprinter often jogged through neighborhoods southwest of Brunswick”. However, on that fateful day, someone called 911 to report “a black man running down the street,” suggesting that the man, Arbery, might have something to do with a “robbery chain” in the area.
According to CNN, the unidentified caller told the operator that there was a “guy in a house” that was under construction. The operator assured the caller that “they would [police officers] out there” by adding, “I just need to know what he was doing wrong. Was he just on the premises and not supposed to be?”
The caller replied, “You’ve been caught on camera a lot earlier in the night.” According to CNN, “within minutes” of the caller’s response, “three blasts erupted from Travis McMichael’s shotgun, and Arbery was dead on the street.” Travis and his father, Greg McMichael, who used to work for the Glynn County Police Department, which is the county where the incident occurred, “chased Arbery,” according to CNN.
As of this writing, it has been over 10 weeks since the shooting. However, no one has been arrested in connection with Arbery’s death. The fatal Georgia shooting has drawn national attention with people across the country, including numerous celebrities, calling for justice to be done.
NBA stars send their thoughts and prayers to Ahmaud Arbery’s family
NBA superstar Lebron Jones visited Twitter on May 6 to tweet a photo of Ahmaud Arbery, writing, “We are literally hunted EVERY DAY / EVERY MOMENT we leave the comfort of our homes! We can’t even go for a damn jogging man! As the WTF man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr YOU ARE KIDDING ME! «
He continued, “I am sorry, Ahmaud (Rest in paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to heaven by your family! #StayWoke #ProfiledCauseWeAreSimplyBlack”.
On Instagram, fellow NBA star Stephen Curry also shared a photo of the young man, writing, “AHMAUD ARBERY. Sick of what is STILL happening here. Don’t watch the video. Respect this man and his family. Remember the name #justiceforahmaud”.
The video Curry refers to was originally released by a “local radio personality,” according to CNN. The media reports that the “36-second clip shows the end of the chase and the shooting. It has sound, but only the shotgun blasts are clearly audible. It appears the video was taken from “inside a vehicle behind Arbery”.
Olivia Wilde and Viola Davis are asking their fans to #RunwithMaud
May 8, 2020, would have marked Ahmaud Arbery’s 26th birthday. In light of the tragic circumstances surrounding her death, celebrities like Olivia Wilde are calling for action. On May 7, Wilde tweeted, “Tomorrow would have been #AhmaudArbery’s 26th birthday. Run with me to honor him and raise awareness about racism and injustice in this country. #IrunwithMaud”.
Along with her tweet, the actress posted a photo of Arbery, promoting a “long-distance dedication race,” which encouraged people to run, walk, or jog 2.23 miles.
Viola Davis also used social media to ask her fans to join the movement, writing: “TAKE ACTION NOW! GO TO: RunWithMaud.com. Sign the petition. It is a SUPER special request. When you sign it, send emails to EVERY official who has the POWER to arrest the men who murdered #AhmaudArbery.”
She added, “#RunWithMaud WE WILL RECEIVE #JUSTICEFORAHMAUDARBERY.” The latest hashtag is one that many celebrities have used in discussing the injustice of this tragic situation.
Gabrielle Union and Tracee Ellis Ross are fighting for justice
In light of Ahmaud Arbery’s death, many celebrities promise to fight for justice on behalf of Arbery. Gabrielle Union visited Instagram on May 6 to share the story of the 25-year-old, writing: “Ahmaud Arbery. I went jogging. Pursued. Hunted. Murdered. It’s [sic] It’s been months and his killers are walking free. I don’t [sic] I want to beg, plead, reason, cry or scream so that you see us as worthy of our breath. If you need to be fooled by empathy, you are not who you think you are.”
She continued: “We were sick and tired a long time ago. May God sustain Ahmaud Arbery’s family and loved ones in the light of goodness and keep them there. We are still struggling. We will not stop. There will be justice. #ahmaudarbery #justiceforahmaudarbery”.
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Tracee Ellis Ross echoed that sentiment, writing: “Ahmaud Arbery. We know his name. May you rest in peace and know that we are fighting for you. You deserved better than this.”
She added: “We demand justice for Ahmaud because we deserve justice. Maybe you already know his name, or maybe you don’t. But pay attention to everyone. This is what is happening in our country. This is what is STILL happening in our country. And not just in Georgia. It is happening everywhere.”
According to CNN, in early May 2020, the District Attorney for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, Tom Durden, who is the third prosecutor in this case, said that “he will participate in a grand jury sometime after June 12, when the Covid-19 restrictions of the state Supreme Court are lifted.”