Ocasio-Cortez calls for ‘justice’ in shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) condemned the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man whose family said he was gunned down while jogging in Georgia earlier this year, saying the nation “deserves answers” in the case.

Ocasio-Cortez likened the shooting to a modern day lynching, tweeting Thursday that “Ahmaud Arbery was murdered for being Black.”

“Police had video of Ahmaud’s murder the day it happened,” she wrote. “His family deserves justice. Our country deserves answers.”

“At some point our country must meaningfully acknowledge that the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Rekia Boyd, Tanisha Anderson, and countless others are not isolated incidents or ‘bad apples.’ It is systemic violence,” she added in a follow-up tweet.

Earlier this week, District Attorney Thomas Durden said he would present the case of Arbery’s shooting death to a grand jury for review.

Arbery, 25, was fatally shot in February after being followed by Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, in a truck in Brunswick, Ga.

At the time, Arbery’s family said he was jogging when he was shot and killed. The McMichaels have claimed they were following Arbery in the truck because they thought he was a burglar.

Footage shared by an attorney representing Arbery’s family, Lee Merritt, appears to show Arbery struggling with one of the men outside the truck shortly before his death. The Hill has not independently verified who recorded the video, which appeared to be from another motorist.

Merritt said in a statement earlier this week that the “video clearly shows Mr. Arbery jogging down the road in the middle of the day.”

“Mr. Arbery had not committed any crime and there was no reason for these men to believe they had the right to stop him with weapons or to use deadly force in furtherance of their unlawful attempted stop,” he said.

“These men were vigilantes, they were a posse and they performed a modern lynching in the middle of the day,” Merritt added to The Associated Press.

However, a Glynn County police report obtained by NBC News says Gregory McMichael claimed Arbery had “violently” attacked his son and both “started fighting over the shotgun at which point Travis fired a shot and then a second later there was a second shot.” 

Gregory McMichael previously worked as an investigator for a prosecutor in Brunswick. Durden, who works as a district attorney in Hinesville, took on the case after two prosecutors recused themselves due to potential conflicts of interest.   

Tags Ahmaud Arbery Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
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