Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian and More Speak Out Over Ahmaud Arbery Shooting
By Antoinette Bueno
Celebrities are publicly sharing their outrage at the fatal shooting in Georgia of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man.
Arbery, 25, was jogging on Feb. 23 when he was confronted by 64-year-old Gregory McMichael and his son, 34-year-old Travis McMichael, who followed him in their truck. CBS News reports that Gregory -- a former law enforcement officer -- told police that they thought Arbery was a burglary suspect and ordered him to stop. According to the police report, he claimed Arbery "violently" attacked his son and that they fought over the shotgun before Travis shot him twice.
Arbery's shooting has gained national attention after a video that apparently captures the moments before the shooting was posted this week by a Brunswick radio station. The video shows Arbery running before being confronted, then collapsing on the ground after he was shot.
Arbery's parents and supporters had been calling for the McMichaels' arrests for months. On Thursday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced that both men had been arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Tom Durden, the district attorney of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit who was put in charge of the case after two prosecutors recused themselves due to possible conflict of interests, said he wants a grand jury to decide whether criminal charges are warranted, which won't happen until Georgia courts reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted, "The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder."
On Thursday, Taylor Swift tweeted, "I’m absolutely devastated and horrified by the senseless, cold blooded, racially motivated killing of Ahmaud Arbery. #JusticeForAhmaud."
I’m absolutely devastated and horrified by the senseless, cold blooded, racially motivated killing of Ahmaud Arbery. #JusticeForAhmaud
Kim Kardashian West also urged her followers to sign a petition so that charges against the two men would be filed.
On Wednesday, LeBron James tweeted a picture of Arbery with a message reading, "I was murdered by an armed father and son who hunted me down and shot me as I jogged in a Georgia neighborhood. Neither of my killers have been charged. My name is Ahmaud Arbery."
The NBA star wrote, "We're literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can't even go for a damn jog man! Like WTF man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! I'm sorry Ahmaud (Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the heavens above to your family!! #StayWoke #ProfiledCauseWeAreSimplyBlack."
We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can’t even go for a damn jog man! Like WTF man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! I’m sorry Ahmaud(Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the..... pic.twitter.com/r1PNxs8Vgn
Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness wrote in part, "Black Americans deserve safety. Period. If your state has stand your ground laws, if your district attorney has a history of letting police brutality slide, if you want to see change in the system we have to elect legislators who will protect Black, Brown, LGBTQ people and all minority Americans. #blacklivesmatter #AhmaudArbery."
Gregory McMichael & his son Travis McMichael gunned down Ahmaud Arbery, 25, on his daily jog in Brunswick, GA. His mother Wanda Jones said “He was hunted down like an animal and killed.” Call the Glynn County Police Dept & demand their arrest: (912)-554-7800 #JusticeForAhmaudpic.twitter.com/WhtklDySTu