Ahmaud Arbery

Ahmaud Arbery, undated (Family photo)
February 23, 2020

On September 2, 2021, a grand jury in Glynn County, Georgia, indicted former Brunswick Judicial Circuit Attorney Jackie Johnson on a felony count of violating her oath of office and a misdemeanor count of hindering a law enforcement officer because she was alleged to have used her position to shield from criminal charges the men who chased down and killed Ahmaud Arbery (1995–2020). The tragedy behind this indictment began on February 23, 2020, when Ahmaud was jogging not far from his mother's home just outside Brunswick, Georgia, and was chased and run down by a truck and was shot and killed. Several months passed before a video of the killing surfaced on May 5th, resulting in the arrest of two white men, Gregory McMichael, a former Glynn County police officer, and his son, Travis McMichael. William Bryan, Jr., the person who took the video in a moving vehicle behind the McMichael's vehicle while they were in pursuit of Ahmaud, was later arrested as well. During questioning, Bryan said the shooter looked down on Ahmaud's body and said, "F****ing N***er." The three men face several state charges, including felony murder. Georgia does not have a hate crime statute, so the Georgia Attorney General requested the U.S. Department of Justice assess the handling of the case. On June 23, 2020, the Georgia legislature passed a hate crime bill and sent it to the governor to sign into law. On June 24, 2020, a grand jury in Glynn County indicted the three men accused in the shooting death of Ahmaud on malice and felony murder charges. Additional charges include aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Ahmaud, who had been an outstanding football player in high school, kept in shape by jogging and was a familiar site running in his neighborhood. Following his death, the hashtag "I run with Maud" gained national attention on social media and inspired people to run 2.23 miles, signifying the date that he was murdered. Ahmaud's long-time best friend, Akeem Baker, created a Facebook group, "I run with Maud."

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