Racial tensions are rising in the US State of Georgia after a young African American man was shot dead while jogging.
A video has emerged showing Ahmaud Arbery, 25, jogging when he was confronted by two white men, former police detective Gregory McMichael, and his son, Travis.
The former policeman then shot Arbery, claiming he thought he was a burglar.
The footage, which was taken by an unidentified witness in another car, shows Arbery jogging down a narrow two-lane road and around a white pickup truck stopped in the right lane, its driver’s door open.
As Arbery crosses back in front of the truck, a gunshot is heard.
Arbery is then seen struggling with a man holding a gun as a second man stands in the bed of the truck brandishing a revolver. Two more shots are heard before Arbery stumbles and falls face-down.
Former United States Vice-President Joe Biden has joined the politicians calling for a just and transparent investigation into the fatal shooting of unarmed Arbery.
In a tweet on Wednesday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Biden called for “a swift, full, and transparent investigation” into Arbery’s murder.
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. https://t.co/alvY5WjdHx
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 6, 2020
Ahmaud was only 25-years-old before his life was taken. No words or actions can ever ease the pain his family is feeling right now but they deserve swift justice. #JusticeForAhmaud pic.twitter.com/p8aUxM5ap3
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 6, 2020
Senator Elizabeth Warren, another former candidate for Demcoratic nomination, also said that video was “sickening”.
“The fact that no action has been taken after two months is unacceptable. Ahmaud’s friends and family deserve accountability and justice,” she tweeted.
Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said everyone “deserved justice and due process under the law”.
“Despite the existence of a video, neither attacker has been arrested or charged. An all-too familiar story,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
“Ahmaud’s life matters.”
Ahmaud Arbery, just 25 years old, was gunned down while jogging in his own neighborhood.
Despite the existence of a video, neither attacker has been arrested or charged. An all-too familiar story.
Everyone deserves justice and due process under the law. Ahmaud’s life matters. https://t.co/PTaWIEtqIi
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 7, 2020
Senator, Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, called the shooting “heartbreaking and sickening”.
“The family of Ahmaud Arbery deserves justice. There MUST be a full, impartial, and prompt investigation,” he said in a tweet.
Ilhan Omar, a Democratic member of the House, tweeted on Wednesday: “[Arbery] was lynched. Killed in cold blood simply for being a Black man in America. Far too often, our criminal justice system fails us. We can’t let that happen this time.”
This is heartbreaking and sickening.
The family of Ahmaud Arbery deserves justice.
There MUST be a full, impartial, and prompt investigation.https://t.co/Z1AL8wJs3B
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 6, 2020
The graphic footage of the incident has stirred outrage over the failure of prosecutors to file charges against Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis.
Black leaders call the killing a case of “jogging while black.” They want the McMichaels charged with murder and jailed immediately.
A video taken by another motorist appears to confirm that Arbery did nothing to provoke the confrontation. Gregory told police that he and his son followed the jogger and sought to detain him because they believed he resembled a suspect in a recent string of break-ins.
On Tuesday, a Georgia county prosecutor said he would ask a grand jury to decide if charges should be filed against the white former law enforcement officer and his son over the shooting.
“I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr. Arbery,” Tom Durden, acting district attorney for a neighboring district, said in a letter posted on Facebook.
Durden, who was assigned to investigate the fatal shooting after prosecutors in Brunswick and a neighbouring district recused themselves due to potential conflicts of interest, said he would present the case to the next available grand jury in Glynn County.
That grand jury might not meet until mid-June or later because courts were under restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, he said.