Ahmaud Arbery’s Mother Files Lawsuit Against Three Men Accused Of Killing Him On Anniversary
One year after the death of Ahmaud Arbery, his mother has filed a federal lawsuit against the three men accused of murdering him.
On February 23, 2020, Arbery was shot and killed by three white men while out for an afternoon jog in the neighbourhood of Satilla Shores in Brunswick, Georgia.
According to the state’s Bureau of Investigation, the unarmed 25-year-old had been mistaken for a burglar after stopping in a house under construction, sparking the three men to chase him down in a truck before eventually shooting him three times.
The wrongful death lawsuit, filed by Wanda Cooper-Jones, includes the individuals involved in Arbery’s killing – Gregory McMichael, 64, his son Travis McMichael, 34, and neighbour William ‘Roddie’ Bryans, 50 – as well as others tied to the subsequent investigation.
As per ABC News, this includes former Glynn County Police Chief John Powell, former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson, Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill, and several Glynn County police officers.
Lee Merritt, the attorney representing Cooper-Jones, said, ‘Justice for this family looks like going after the system that justified it, that allowed these men – the McMichaels and Bryan – to run free for months, that failed to prosecute properly, that offered racist explanations or why the shooting was justified.’
He added, ‘That’s George Barnhill, Jackie Johnson, the entire Glynn County PD. Miss Cooper is a fighter, and she’s instructed us to take no stops on the road to justice.’
The McMichaels have been charged with murder and aggravated assault, while Bryan has been charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. The three men are due to stand trial this year.
The lawsuit alleges they ‘willfully and maliciously conspired to follow, threaten, detain and kill Ahmaud Arbery… these men believed that they had authority to pursue the man on the construction lot because they had been deputised by the Glynn County Police Department’.
Putting forward actions such as excessive force, failure to prevent harm and wilful and wanton misconduct, the suit also accuses the defendants of being ‘motivated to deprive Ahmaud Arbery of equal protection of the law and his rights by racial bias, animus, discrimination’.
Robert Rush, one of the officers named as a defendant in the lawsuit, allegedly texted Gregory McMichael on the day of Arbery’s shooting requesting that he let him know if he saw anyone in the house under construction.
While Gregory’s lawyers didn’t comment on the lawsuit, an attorney for Travis said, ‘Obviously, the plaintiff lawyers are seeking a substantial sum of money from any party they think has deep pockets. I don’t expect Travis McMichael will give them the money they are seeking.’
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