Mother Of Ahmaud Arbery Files Civil Lawsuit On Anniversary Of Son’s Killing
WAYNESBORO, GA - FEBRUARY 23: Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, center, is comforted by her brother, Inus Holmes, left, and family during a vigil for Ahmaud at New Springfield Baptist Church on February 23, 2021 in Waynesboro, Georgia. Arbery, a Black man, was shot and killed while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia a year ago today after being chased by a group of white men. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

On the one-year anniversary of his death Tuesday, Ahmaud Arbery’s mother filed a civil lawsuit against several people who were reportedly involved in her son’s killing and the following investigation surrounding his case.

Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot and killed while jogging last year in Georgia.

The lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia names the three white men facing felony murder charges in connection with Arbery’s death — father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael, as well as William “Roddie” Bryan.

The suit claims that the men “willfully and maliciously conspired to follow, threaten, detain and kill Ahmaud Arbery.” As reported by NPR, the filing “also names law enforcement officials and local prosecutors and alleges they were intimately involved with an alleged cover-up in the investigation.” The lawsuit reportedly states that the only motivation for the three men to start going after Arbery was because he “was a Black man.”

Last summer, The Daily Wire reported on the arrests of the three men:

Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes revealed Wednesday afternoon that Gregory McMichael, 64, Travis McMichael, 34, and William “Roddie” Bryan, 50, were facing nine charges, including felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

“This is another step forward in seeking justice for Ahmaud. Our team from the Cobb Judicial Circuit has been committed to effectively bringing forward the evidence in this case and today was no exception,” said Holmes, the fourth prosecutor to be assigned to the case since February.

“We will continue to be intentional in the pursuit of justice for this family and the community at large as the prosecution of this case continues,” she said. 

Arbery’s family members held a public candlelight vigil at the New Springfield Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Georgia, on Tuesday, where he is buried. Those who attended were asked to wear a blue ribbon and bring candles, according to ABC affiliate WJBF.

Ahmaud Arbery’s father told NPR member station WABE, “They took a part of me they never going to be able to put back…When those monsters killed my baby boy, that’s a part of me nobody can put back.” He added, “I’ve got to get justice for my boy, and I’ve got to make sure those three men never walk the streets again…I’m starving for justice for him. And we’re going to get justice.”

The family has described Arbery’s death as a modern-day lynching, noting that he was only jogging through a Georgia neighborhood when the McMichaels saw him. The father and son reportedly got firearms and began their chase after they suspected that Arbery was the culprit of recent thefts in the area. According to investigators, Bryan later joined them.

NPR reports,

The older McMichael was armed with a .357-caliber Magnum, and his son had a shotgun. Once the men caught up to Arbery, the younger McMichael got out of the truck with his gun and engaged with Arbery.

After a short tussle, the younger McMichael shot twice, killing Arbery.

Ten weeks went by before any arrests were made regarding Arbery’s case. The arrests eventually occurred two days after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation from local authorities.

In addition, the U.S. Justice Department confirmed to NPR in May that federal authorities are “assessing all of the evidence to determine whether federal hate crimes charges are appropriate.”

Last Year, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr asked the GBI to look into “possible prosecutorial misconduct” by former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson and George Barnhill, district attorney of the Waycross Judicial Circuit.

Johnson and Barnhill are both named in Arbery’s mother’s lawsuit.

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