Supporters run 2.3 miles for Ahmaud Arbery

On February 23, an unarmed black man named Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed while going for a run in his Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood. This week, after cellphone video that appeared to show the killing surfaced online, a national outcry for justice began to swell. Supporters are now planning a run dedicated to Arbery on Friday — what would have been his 26th birthday.

The #IRunwithAhmaud hashtag began trending on Wednesday as more and more people shared their plans to run 2.23 miles in Arbery’s honor. The distance signifies the date he was killed, February 23. 

Numerous people have posted information about the Friday run on social media, and some have already begun running to honor Arbery. Facebook groups have also been created to raise awareness.

Many are also sharing a quote from Senator Kamala Harris, who tweeted on Tuesday that the video of Arbery’s killing “sickens me to my core.” “Exercising while Black shouldn’t be a death sentence,” Harris tweeted. The quote is now being widely shared on social media.

Senator Tim Scott tweeted the hashtag Thursday and wrote, “Every.single.time. The excuses pour in – ‘he looked suspicious’… ‘we thought he was committing a crime’…The fact remains, #AhmaudArbery was hunted down from a pickup truck and murdered in cold blood. My heart breaks for his family, and justice must be served.” 

He continued, “#IRunWithAhmaud, just as every person of color should be able to go for a jog or out to the store without fear. Congress can do our part – starting with finally fully passing anti-lynching legislation.” 

So far, no charges have been filed against the two suspects in suspects in Arbery’s killing, a father and son named Gregory and Travis McMichael. The McMichaels, who are white, claimed they chased down Arbery because they thought he was a burglary suspect. 

A growing number of high-profile people like Ava DuVernay, Gabrielle Union, LeBron James, Joe Biden and many others have also posted about Arbery on social media, calling for justice in the case. 

“The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder,” Biden tweeted.

In addition to Friday’s run, the Run with Ahmaud campaign is asking supporters to sign a petition and  make calls urging District Attorney Tom Durden to bring charges against the two suspects. Durden recently announced he will present the case to a grand jury for possible charges — once a grand jury can convene after coronavirus-related shutdowns. 

The Run with Ahmuad campaign says the arrest shouldn’t wait any longer. “Given the threat that these two men pose to the public, they should be immediately arrested and held pending the Grand Jury decision,” the campaign’s website reads. “Also, given the facts of the case, the FBI must bring hate crime charges against the two men to hold them accountable for this act of racial violence.”

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now investigating the shooting after Durden requested the agency’s help, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, threw his support behind that probe. He posted on Twitter: “Georgians deserve answers. State law enforcement stands ready to ensure justice is served.”

As of Thursday morning, the Run with Ahmaud campaign’s petition has more than 315,000 signatures, with a new goal of 400,000. The #IRunwithAhmaud and #RunwithAhmaud hashtags have been used thousands of times on both Instagram and Twitter. 

Categories: National, US & World News

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