The father of Ahmaud Arbery, the unarmed Black man fatally shot by two white men who pursued him while he was jogging, pleaded Thursday for his son’s killers to be imprisoned before they take another life.
Marcus Arbery, father of the 25-year-old who was gunned down in his south Georgia neighborhood in February, begged for justice in an interview on “PBS NewsHour.” Later Thursday, two men were arrested in the case.
“Get them out, get them off the streets, before they try to lynch anybody else’s kids. … They need to be behind bars for a long, long time,” he told host Yamiche Alcindor.
Ahmaud Arbery died more than two months ago, but video of his death just surfaced last week. In it, he’s seen attempting to run past the vehicle of Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34 ― one of whom shoots Arbery at least twice. The elder McMichael claims he thought Arbery was a burglary suspect.
After the video’s release, there was widespread public outrage that authorities hadn’t arrested the McMichaels. Shortly after Marcus Arbery gave the interview to PBS, state authorities arrested the father and son on charges of murder and aggravated assault.
Marcus Arbery’s attorney Benjamin Crump, who joined him for the interview Thursday, said he’s demanding that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which has taken over the probe from local authorities, “look at the case with fresh eyes.”
“We asked them not to allow anything from the local officials from that southeastern Georgia law enforcement community because they’re too close to Gregory McMichaels, who worked as a former police officer and a detective for the district attorney for over 30 years,” Crump said.
Two prosecutors originally assigned to the case have had to recuse themselves because of their professional ties to the elder McMichaels.
Marcus Arbery said he often discussed racial profiling with his son and his other children while they were growing up.
“I just told him that racism is pretty deep when you’re a Black African American,” he said, noting that they closely followed the 2012 case of Trayvon Martin, who would be the same age as his son if they were both still alive.
Ahmaud Arbery, who loved to run up to five miles a day and was working to become an electrician, should be remembered for his generosity, his father said.
“He was the kind of young man, if you needed a dollar, and he had one dollar,” he said, “he gave it to you.”
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