I want you to take a look at the photo below before reading.
This is Ahmaud Arbery, who was jogging in Brunswick, GA when he was chased and fatally shot by two white men. A video of the crime, recorded by an accomplice, was released earlier this week by a defence attorney involved in the case. The perpetrators, Travis and Greogory McMichael, were arrested yesterday on May 7. Unfortunately, this isn’t as positive an outcome as it may seem. The Glynn County Police and the Georgia investigators never wanted to charge Travis and Gregory, because even though the video surfaced three days ago, the shooting happened on February 23.
Yes, you heard that right. The police had that video in February.
Their excuse was that they allegedly saw Ahmaud robbing a construction site, and because there had been some burglaries in the area, the McMichaels assumed he was the burglar. As it turns out, CCTV showed no robberies on the site, and only the McMichaels had one of their guns stolen from their pickup truck on New Years Day. No other residents were victims of robberies.
This is a clear case of racial profiling. You must have some real white privilege to accuse a person of colour of a burglary as an excuse to murder them. And get away with it. This incident slightly echoes the Botham Jean case; he was shot in Dallas by Amber Guyger, a white police officer when she thought he “broke in” to her apartment. Turns out she had the wrong apartment, and after a lengthy trial, she got sentenced to 10 years. I suspect the Ahmaud Arbery case will have a similar outcome, especially considering Georgia doesn’t have any anti hate crime laws.
The reality of the matter is that if Georgia investigators wanted to press charges, they would have when they first saw the tape in February. The promises made by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are completely empty, and their “thorough” investigation is all for show. And let’s call a spade a spade: if the roles were reversed, Ahmaud would have gotten life in prison. This is another case of pure racism, and what’s disturbing is that there must be so many more people of colour who have been senselessly murdered and have not received justice. As Marc Lamont Hill said:
The only way this injustice will end is if law makers start holding white people accountable for crimes they actually commit, the same way they do for innocent black people.