Over the weekend we learned about the arrest of father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael. These two men were arrested on Thursday March 7th for the murder of 25 year old Ahmaud Arbery. The two confronted, shot and killed Ahmaud while he was on one of his routine jogs in Brunswick Georgia back on February 23rd.
Prior to the shooting, an anonymous 911 call was made asking for authorities to come to the scene for “a black male running down the street”.
Those involved with the shooting said that there had been a string of burglaries in the area where Ahmaud often ran and considered him responsible (It was discovered however, that prior to Ahmaud’s death, there were no reports made about any burglaries in that area).
The father son duo was arrested two months later, after a video capturing the incident was released.
It is infuriating to see that It took authorities two months, a leaked video, and national outrage to make an arrest. As these incidents continue to proliferate it feels as though we are becoming numb to them.
Why wasn’t Ahmaud’s murder worth investigating two months ago?
Why did these two men feel as though it was within their rights to kill a man in broad day light because of his healthy habit of jogging and getting exercise?
This incident really feels as though we heard it through the grape vine. There has obviously been no sense of urgency in executing justice on Ahmaud’s behalf. At the time of Ahmaud’s murder the DA said that what the McMichael’s did was “perfectly legal”, and Glynn County authorities were told not to make an arrest.
Since the video leaked, the McMichael’s have been charged with Murder and Aggravated Assault. As of the writing of this post they are currently awaiting a bail hearing. From the federal level there has not been any repudiation of the McMichael’s actions from the President. He has said that “You know, it could be something that we didn’t see on tape”, implying that Ahmaud may have provoked the incident.
As this story continues to unfold, it is evident that America needs to have a serious discussion about our history with slavery and racism. And while that may not be news to anyone, not doing so for so long could prove detrimental for everyone.
Are we witnessing the opening of the flood gates? What does the murder of a black man in cold blood being deemed “perfectly legal” say about the United States? What does a haphazard outcry from our political leaders suggest about how we think about our minority citizens?
Each new scenario of a black person being shot and killed by a white person gets more horrific than the previous, yet our response gets more subdued. We cannot allow injustice to be the new normal. This sluggish response to Ahmaud’s death should be the exception not the rule.
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