#IRunWithMaud Memorial Run Goes Viral Demanding Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
Friday, May 9, 2020
The #irunwithmaud social media movement went viral on Twitter and Instagram following the arrest of two suspects in Georgia murder of Ahmaud Arbery.
On Friday (May 9) Arbery’s family and friends launched an awareness campaign with the hashtag “irunwithmaud” to commemorate his birthday, showing a sign of solidarity and a demand for justice. Ahmaud would have turned 26-years-old on Friday had he not been shot down by two white supremacist in his hometown of Brunswick, Ga. on February 23, 2020, while on a neighborhood jog.
The shooting happened when Ahmaud ran past the home of Gregory McMichael (64), and his son Travis (34) who believed that Arbery looked like a suspect in a recent string of robberies in the area. The two white males jumped in their truck armed with a handgun and a shotgun. The men chased the jogger down with their truck and confronted Ahmaud. A scuffle ensued between the men leaving Ahmaud (who was unarmed) fatally wounded.
Participants were asked to run 2.23 miles and share it to social media with the hashtag “irunithmaud” to memorialize the day Ahmaud was shot. The hashtag was started by Arbery’s high school football coach, Jason Vaughn, and family friend, Akeem M. Baker. Ahmaud was a former high school football athlete who was also an avid runner.
Celebrities, organizations and over a hundred thousand supporters took to Twitter and Instagram to show their support from Ellen DeGeneres to NFL player Malcolm Jenkins, to major civil rights groups including the ACLU, NAACP and Southern Poverty Law Center, just to name a few.
Last week a video of the shooting emerged, renewing outrage over what appears to be a targeted, stalking and murder of a young, unarmed, black man on a neighborhood run.
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The New York Times report references a video shot by a third party individual who had joined the pursuit. It is believed that the leaked public video is from the 3rd individual’s cell phone. The prosecutor claimed the video showed Arbery trying to grab the shotgun from Travis’s hands, which the prosecutor interpreted as self-defense. The district attorney for Glynn County, recused herself from the case because she worked with Gregory McMichael who is a retired investigator for her office, according to the Associated Press. The newly assigned outside prosecutor, Tom Durden, is seeking to have a grand jury consider criminal charges. Advocates launched a petition demanding that the Department of Justice and FBI investigate the case and file charges.
Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement. “Ahmaud was killed three days before the anniversary of the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin. Both incidents are a reminder that white supremacy has been a foundation for our country and leads repeatedly to the targeting and harming people of color, particularly African Americans.”
They arrested Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael on Thursday (May 7) in a statement released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Both men are charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Artwork by: Nikkolas Smith