Politicians, celebrities and people speaking out on social media are angrily demanding the arrest of two white men in the shooting death of an unarmed black jogger in Georgia.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was killed on 23 February as he ran on a sunny day in his residential neighborhood in the town Brunswick. But the case gained national notoriety this week with the release of a 28-second cell phone video that captured the shooting.
In that footage, Arbery is seen running down the middle of a residential street and approaching a white pickup truck that is stopped in the right lane with the driver’s side door open and a man standing in the back.
As Arbery tries to get around the truck and crosses in front of it from the right, he is confronted by a second man holding a shotgun. An altercation ensues as Arbery and this man struggle, and the black man is shot once, then once more a few seconds later.
The two white men have been identified by police as Travis McMichael, 34, and his father Gregory McMichael, 64, who both live in Brunswick.
According to the police report, McMichael Sr. told police he thought Arbery was a suspect in a series of burglaries in the area and on the day of the shooting, while standing in his front yard, he had seen the young black man “hauling ass” down the street.
McMichael said he went inside, got his .357 Magnum while his son grabbed a shotgun, and they went out looking for Arbery. When they finally caught up with him and McMichael Jr. got out of the truck with the shotgun, Arbery began to “violently attack” him, the father said, according to the police report.
The father said he saw his son shoot Arbery twice and Arbery fall to the ground.
After the video footage went viral, a Georgia district attorney said Tuesday that a grand jury would be formed to see if there are grounds to charge the father and son. Neither has been arrested.
Around the country, political figures and celebrities expressed indignation and called for the two men to be prosecuted.
“The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now,” Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden tweeted Wednesday night.
“#ahmaudarbery was murdered by two white men, ON CAMERA, and dudes have not been arrested. come on, people,” actress Zoe Kravitz said in an Instagram post featuring an expletive. It was shared by such figures as Billie Eilish and Kylie Jenner.
Some drew parallels between this case and the shooting death of another unarmed young black man, Trayvon Martin, by a neighborhood guard in Florida in 2012.
“We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!,” basketball great LeBron James said on Instagram.