Ahmaud Arbery’s mother to host public vigil as anniversary nears
Wanda Cooper-Jones and family have planned a special gathering on the first anniversary of his tragic death
On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was killed while jogging in a Georgia suburb. As the first anniversary nears, his mother announced the family would be holding a vigil to celebrate her son’s life.
theGrio reported three men faced murder charges in the death of 25-year-old Arbery. William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., allegedly pinned the victim with his vehicle as Travis McMichael fired the fatal shots. Gregory McMichael, the father of Travis, also faces trial for his involvement.
The men allegedly used racial slurs in the incident, which was caught on camera and went viral, leading to protests and demands for justice.
According to TMZ, Wanda Cooper-Jones shared family members plan to gather at New Springfield Baptist Church in Waynesboro, GA for a candlelight vigil. The family requested attendees wear a blue ribbon or the color blue as a statement of solidarity. She informed the outlet blue was Arbery’s favorite color.
TMZ reported Jones has shared feelings of grief and being overwhelmed as the one-year date looms. She also updated the outlet that the family will launch a foundation soon, in Arbery’s honor, directly affiliated with his legacy,
The men currently await trial after being indicted by a grand jury on charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment.
According to theGrio, Bryan requested to be released from Glynn County Detention Center due to health issues.
“He has already seen a cardiologist and is medicated, but the sporadic checks of his blood pressure regularly reflect blood pressure in excess of 180/100,” said Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough. “Assuming he survives long enough to have a trial, Mr. Bryan’s ability to attend, follow along, and participate meaningfully in his own trial would be greatly impaired if this issue is not addressed.”
First Coast News reported the request was denied by Judge Timothy Walmsley, and all three men charged in the case remain in custody without bail. A trial date has not yet been set.
According to WABE, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, released a bipartisan plan to repeal the citizen’s arrest statute Arbery’s killers used to defend their actions, which has existed since 1863.
“Ahmaud was a victim of a vigilante-style of violence that has no place in Georgia,” Kemp stated. “In a national political climate where it often seems as if no one agrees on anything, I’m proud to say a bipartisan, wide-reaching group of individuals …supports this proposal.”
“In light of what happened, in light of the [Civil War-era] roots of this law in Georgia, in light of the fact that when you read the two sentences of this code section, side by side and realize that they don’t make any sense … in light of all those things, Georgia needs to be a leader on this issue,” said Rep. Bert Reeves, according to the news outlet.
WABE reported the new law would “explicitly prohibits any use of force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless in self-defense.”
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