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Kim Kardashian, Naomi Campbell & More Celebrities Are Demanding Justice For The Killing Of A Black Jogger

Kim Kardashian, Naomi Campbell & More Celebrities Are Demanding Justice For The Killing Of A Black Jogger

 

The Coronavirus pandemic has dominated the news in recent months, but celebrities are continuing to use their platform to spread awareness about other important events and issues too. One of those is the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25 year old jogger who was shot in an incident with an ex-police officer and his son in February. Arbery was black, the two men – identified as Gregory and Travis McMichael – are white.

There have been no arrests or a conviction since the killing, but the case has seen renewed interest and awareness in recent days, after a video of the shooting emerged online.

Here’s what we know.

 

Who was Ahmaud Arbery and what happened to him?

 

A 25-year-old black man from Brunswick, in southern Georgia who hoped to be an electrician and enjoyed regularly jogging around the local area.

On February 23, his life ended when he was shot dead.

In the recently released video, which distressingly shows the moment Arbery was killed, Arbery – wearing a white t-shirt and shorts – runs past a truck, in which Gregory and his son Travis are, with two guns before shouting is heard. There is then a scuffle between one of the men and Arbery while shots are heard. You then see Arbery stumble and collapse to the floor.

According to police reports from the time, which have been obtained by The New York Times, Gregory McMichael said when he saw Arbery run past his house he believed him to be a man suspected of several break-ins in the area. He called his son Travis, the two men grabbed their guns, got in their truck and followed him. The point at which they stop the car and encounter Arbery is what is seen on the video.

Arbery was unarmed.

 

Why has no one been charged for Ahmaud Arbery’s death?

 

Despite the video footage, nobody has been charged, let alone arrested over Arbery’s death.

His mother Wanda Cooper told local reporters she was feeling ‘very discouraged’ about the lack of a prosecution.

‘I just think about how they could allow these two men to kill my son and not be arrested. That’s what I can’t understand,’ she said according to Time.

After the incident, the local prosecutor recused herself from the case because she had previously worked with Gregory McMichael. The case was then past to another district attorney George Barnhill, but he also recused himself (on Arbery’s mother’s wishes) because his son worked for the Brunswick DA (the same local department McMichael had worked at).

Before recusing himself, Barnhill suggested there was ‘insufficient probable cause’ for arresting the McMichaels, because they were legally carrying weapons and were prepared to make a legal citizen’s arrest of Arbery as they believed him to be a burglary suspect and that Arbery was involved in a struggle with the man so it could be claimed that it was self-defence.

However, now, the case is in the hands of a third Georgia department member, Tom Durden who announced on Tuesday that he wants a Grand Jury to decide if criminal charges are warranted over Arbery’s death.

 

Which celebrities have been calling for justice for Ahmaud Arbery on social media?

 

Since the surfacing of the video, there has been an outcry on social media with many civil rights activists angered by the killing and even more so about the lack of police action in response, saying that this is another in a long line of shootings of unarmed black civilians by white people in the United States.

 
 

On Tuesday, presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted that Arbery was ‘killed in cold blood’ and called for a full investigation into the 25-year-old’s death.

Biden has been joined by a number of celebrities who have shared Arbery’s story with powerful words to their millions of followers:

 

Zoë Kravitz

 
 

Tracee Ellis Ross

 
View this post on Instagram

Ahmaud Arbery. We know your name. May you rest in peace and know that we are fighting for you. You deserved better than this. You were taken from the world almost 3 months ago and still no charges filed or arrests made. To Ahmaud’s mother: there are no words to explain how sorry I am for your loss. And that we still live in a world where this kind of disgusting, brutal violence and disrespect of life is still a reality. We demand justice for Ahmaud because we deserve justice. Perhaps you know his name by now, or perhaps you don’t. But please pay attention everyone. This is what’s happening in our country. This is what’s STILL happening in our country. And not only in Georgia. It’s happening everywhere. #ahmaudarbery #justiceforahmaud

A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on

 

Mahershala Ali

 
 

Viola Davis

 
 

Naomi Campbell

 
 

Gabrielle Union

 
View this post on Instagram

Ahmaud Arbery. Went for a jog. Chased down. Hunted. Murdered. Its been months and his killers walk free. I dont want to beg, plead, reason, cry, or scream for you to see us as worthy of our breath. If you need to be cajoled into empathy, you are not who you think you are. I don't want to wonder if you see our humanity. What do you see when you cast your eyes on us? We are worthy of peace, joy, grace, compassion, and every damn protection we are afforded by existing. We shot past sick and tired a long time ago. May God hold Ahmaud Arbery's family and loved ones up to the light of goodness and hold them there. We keep fighting. We will not stop. There will be justice. #ahmaudarbery #justiceforahmaudarbery

A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on

 

SZA

 
View this post on Instagram

I didn’t wanna watch the video cause I’m tired of seeing Black Death on the internet.. I never seen a person killed in real time before I saw it happen over and over again to unarmed black men women and children.. on live . That shit is weird and strange and traumatizing . I can’t explain if it’s worse having to post or posting and nothing changing ..ALL THE TIME. I eventually watched the video last night. couldn’t even bring myself to watch Sean Reed cause I already knew how it ended . I’m tired and have nothing positive to say . I jus wanted to do this man some justice . Our death is not a highlight reel . WE’RE ALREADY DYING AT A DISPROPORTIONATE RATE FROM COVID . WE CANT JOG ?we can’t play? CANT BE ? Man I’m exhausted . thankful for the gift of my people tho .. I know we chosen for something higher .. blessings yall????????????( pls advise : CORRECT EMAIL IS Tom.burden@libertycountyda.com)

A post shared by SZA (@sza) on

 

Kim Kardashian West

 
Photo: Instagram
 

Given the social distancing regulations in place across much of the world, Arbery’s former high school football coach is hosting a ‘virtual run along’ in his memory, asking people to run 2.23 miles – a nod to the date he was killed – on Friday May 8, which would have been his 26th birthday.

 

This article originally appeared on ELLE UK.


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