Supporters of Ahmaud Arbery, who was ambushed and fatally shot in Georgia by two white men, are organizing a multi-mile run to raise awareness about his murder and honor him on what would’ve been his 26th birthday.
#IRunwithAhmaud began trending Wednesday as people began to share their plans to run 2.23 miles on Friday. According to CBS News, the distance signifies the date in which he was killed by a father and son named Gregory and Travis McMichael while jogging.
A flyer has encouraged people to participate by walking, running or jogging.
— Naomi Johnson (@naomitj) May 7, 2020
“This Friday is Ahmaud’s birthday,” the flyer read. “Please post a message, video, or dedication with the hashtag.”
As of Thursday, the campaign has amassed more than 315,000 signatures, with a new goal of 400,000. Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is one of the many who are participating.
THREAD: 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.
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) May 7, 2020
“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.”
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, declared Arbery’s death was “in cold blood.” Sen. Kamala Harris, Lebron James, Ava DuVernay, and others have also expressed their outrage.
Arbery’s death in February has become a rallying cry for many after the McMichaels followed him, believing he was the culprit in burglaries in the mostly white neighborhood of Satilla Shores.
Graphic video of the encounter shows Arbery running at a jogger’s pace and swerving around the McMichaels’ truck which was parked in his path. When they displayed guns, Arbery tussled with Travis, shots were heard and Arbery fell to the ground.
A Georgia grand jury will now decide if charges should be brought against the father and son, but that does not go far enough for The Run with Ahmaud campaign. They are demanding in a petition that an arrest be made immediately.
“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.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!