Ahmaud Arbery was 25 when he was shot and killed while out for a run on February 23, 2020. On Tuesday, his mother filed a one-million-dollar civil lawsuit against the three men arrested for his murder, more than a dozen law enforcement officers, and the Glynn County District Attorney.
Arbery was jogging through a Georgia neighbourhood in broad daylight when he was followed, confronted, and shot by three men, Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan.
The men alleged that they thought Arbery was a burglar, despite him not having any weapons or stolen items on him, and were trying to make a citizen’s arrest when Travis shot him three times.
No charges were initially brought against the men, until a video of the incident was released to the public sparking a national outcry.
Two months later, all three men are charged with nine felony counts: malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
All three men pleaded not guilty. A trial date has yet to be set.
On Tuesday, exactly one year after Arbery’s death, Cooper filed a one-million-dollar lawsuit against the three men, as well as more than a dozen law enforcement officers and the Glynn County District Attorney.
Speaking of her son’s death, Wanda Cooper said, “I think before I was in — numb. I was in a state of just being numb,” she said. “As the days has passed, the numbness has left and I’m really — it’s very painful. Very painful.”
Among many allegations, the civil suit claims that the three men “hunted Ahmaud down” and uttered racial slurs as he died. It also alleges that law officials tried to “cover up” the murder and “were motivated to deprive Ahmaud Arbery of equal protection of the law and his rights by racial bias, animus, discrimination.”
“For nearly three months, Glynn County police officers, the chief of police, and two prosecutors conspired to hide the circumstances surrounding Ahmaud’s death and to protect the men who murdered him,” the complaint said. “And none of this would have been discovered but for video footage leaked to the media, which showed the horrific and brutal murder of Ahmaud.”
“I’ve got to get justice for my boy, and I’ve got to make sure those three men never walk the streets again,” Marcus Arbery, Mr Arbery’s father, told the radio station WABE, speaking about the anniversary. “I’m starving for justice for him. And we’re going to get justice.”