#JoggingWhileBlack: Grand jury weighs charges on Ahmaud Arbery’s death

Arbery's shooting death by the hands of a white man and his son in Georgia has sparked a national outcry

Ahmaud Arbery

A Georgia grand jury will now decide if charges will be brought against a longtime Glynn County investigator and his son in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. 

Arbery, 25, was jogging when he was chased down, shot, and killed more than two months ago. On Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the prosecutor that a grand jury would decide if charges would be brought against former police officer Gregory McMichael and his son Travis who claim to have acted in self-defense.

“After careful review of the evidence presented and after exchanging information with the Glynn County Police Department, the FBI, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia, I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr. (Ahmaud) Arbery,” said Tom Durden, the district attorney for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit.

READ MORE: Mother of Ahmaud Arbery says shooting was an ‘act of racial violence’

Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, was informed of the decision by phone.

“I am relieved,” Cooper-Jones said. “I was a little surprised but gracious for the decision.”

Ahmaud Arbery theGrio.com

She has stated that her son’s death by these two white men was “act of racial violence” and that an arrest should’ve been made already.

“Ahmaud is no longer with us and he’s not with us because two men followed him while he was jogging and killed him,” Cooper-Jones told CBS. She says that the two men should have waited for the police, “They had already made a call to 911.”

Arbery’s death in February has become a rallying cry for many after the McMichaels followed him, believing he was behind burglaries in the mostly white neighborhood of Satilla Shores. Graphic video of the encounter showed Arbery jogging at pace and three gunshots can be heard. He fell to the ground after being shot and never regained consciousness.

READ MORE: Family wants justice after Ahmaud Arbery, 25, is killed by two white men

Cooper-Jones has not been able to bring herself to watch the video of her son’s final moments.

“I don’t think I’d be able to take it,” she said.

Brunswick NAACP President John Davis Perry II demanded accountability. He told the AJC that the McMichaels were at fault and made Arbery fearful for his life.

“As I’ve stated before this was instigated and perpetrated by the shooters,” said Brunswick. “They placed him in a position in which he had to fight for his life. This video is appalling!”

Lee Merritt, who is representing the family, previously told CNN Sunday that the McMichaels were using the law to escape accountability. They did not have the authority to proceed with a citizen’s arrest which is allowed under Georgia law.

“According to that law, you actually have to be observing the crime or be in the immediate knowledge of the crime,” Merritt said. “The only thing they have ever said is … that Ahmaud stopped by a house that was under construction and he looked through the window. We don’t know if that happened or not, but even if that did happen that is not a felony that would invoke the citizen’s arrest statute that would make this allowable.”