Washington, DC—More than 10 weeks ago, two white men attacked and killed Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging in broad daylight. Since then, his attackers have been arrested, but justice does not stop there. On what would have been Ahmaud’s 26th birthday, Sojourners' president Rev. Jim Wallis and executive director Rev. Adam Taylor released the following statement:
"When a black man is the victim of a lethal shooting, why does it always seem to take a video to get anybody’s attention? While we applaud yesterday’s arrest of Travis and Gregory McMichael for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, once again white-led law enforcement systems, this time in Georgia, can’t or wouldn’t do their job until they were exposed for not doing it. "More than 10 weeks ago, two white men attacked and killed Arbery, a young black man, while he was jogging in broad daylight. Appallingly, those armed white men used the sickening language of 'citizen’s arrest' and 'self-defense.'
"Because of COVID-19 shutdowns, actions to raise awareness, other activism, and protest marches are all the more difficult as we seek to address another lethal shooting. But once again a heartbreaking video has shined a light on tragic events, this time showing two white men in their truck, brandishing their shotguns as they pursued and murdered an unarmed black man, who was just out for a run, taking the law, and his life, into their own hands.
"It took a national public outcry to finally have the accused murderers arrested. Now, after all this time, the facts of the case must be investigated and no longer buried – a cover-up perhaps perpetrated, as the grieving mother of the dead boy suggested, because one of the attackers was a retired police officer.
"Armed and racist men who do such horrendous things, if the evidence proves as conclusive as the video suggests, should be imprisoned for the rest of their lives. And people who contemplate such things must be made to know that the rule of law will protect the rest of us – all of us – from their shameless stupidity and brutality. Anyone else who was involved in this miscarriage of justice and its cover-up should also be arrested, sending a clear message that such abhorrent behavior will not be tolerated. "This tragedy is another reminder of why we must end the dehumanization and criminalization of black lives, which assaults the very image of God. How many more videos showing travesties of justice will our nation need to see before we collectively demand equal justice under the law and dismantle all forms of white supremacy?"
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