Ahmaud Arbery's Family Tells CBS46 They Want Justice for the Unarmed Jogger Who Was Shot and Killed
BRUNSWICK, Ga. (CBS46) — It’s hard to watch, but newly released cell phone video shows the traumatic final moments of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery’s life.
Arbery’s family tells CBS46 that he was on his daily run around his neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia, when he was chased down by two men in a pickup truck and shot and killed in the street.
A witness recorded the altercation on a cell phone. The video shows Gregory McMichael standing in the back of a pickup truck. His son, Travis McMichael, is on the street fighting with Arbery and apparently holding a shotgun.
Police say Travis fired two shots. he told police it was self-defense after the father-son duo believed Arbery to be a burglary suspect on the run.
Arbery’s family says he was unarmed and alone on his daily workout routine.
“He wanted to stay fit and that was his thing and that is why he was always jogging,” Arbery’s aunt Thea Brooks told CBS46’s Hayley Mason. “He did it every day, sometimes two times a day,” Brooks added.
Brooks said she and her family were not aware of the cell phone video. She tells Mason she saw it for the first time while scrolling on Facebook Tuesday.
She says her nephew was respectful and humble and that it would be completely out of his character to be involved in a home burglary as the McMichael’s stated.
“We know that Ahmaud is dead and that the two people responsible for his death are at home with their families,” Brooks said.
Arbery was killed on February 23rd. Wednesday morning activists protested for justice outside the state capitol as part of the #RunWithAhmaud protest. The outcry continued to grow from the Georgia ACLU to the Georgia NAACP, which has been communicating with Arbery’s family for the past month.
Two prosecutors left left the case to date and it is now in the hands of a third District Attorney.
“This is judicial malpractice to allow not once but twice that nothing was done between now and then to ensure that those murderers were arrested and put to trial,” said Georgia NAACP President James Woodall. He is calling for the original district attorneys on the case to resign.
The Georgia ACLU is calling for accountability and arrests.
“I’m shocked and angered. I can’t believe this young black man was jogging by himself and literally gunned down in the street,” said ACLU of Georgia’s political director Christopher Bruce. “It needs to end, and it needs to end right now with this case. You can’t be silent at this time, otherwise this will happen again,” Bruce continued to CBS46 Wednesday morning.
By Wednesday afternoon GBI director Vic Reynolds had released a video announcement on the agency’s social media pages.
“We’ve now assigned this case to three supervisory-level agents. They come from two regions,” Reynolds said. “This case will be ran from headquarters that will bring to bear all the resources,” he added.
Georgia’s Attorney General Chris Carr tweeted a statement saying he was deeply concerned by the video and “expects justice to be carried out as swiftly as possible and I stand ready to support the GBI director and Glynn County District Attorney and the local community.”
Governor Brian Kemp tweeted that “Georgians deserve answers. State law enforcement stands ready to ensure justice is served.”
Several lawmakers across the country joined the chorus of voices calling for arrests and justice in the case.
“We need these people to be held accountable,” Brooks told Mason. “We just need somebody to be held accountable and to know that Ahmaud did not die in vain.”
The Georgia NAACP is holding a protest at 10 a.m. Friday at the Glynn County courthouse as this case is now being assigned to a grand jury.