Glynn County

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Ahmaud Arbery’s mother– nearly one year after the killing of her son

Ahmaud Arbery’s death nearly one year ago sparked protests across the country, and now Georgia’s governor is calling to overhaul the state’s citizen arrest law.

Gov. Brian Kemp says part of the reason for this proposed change is because of what happened to Arbery.

His mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones says, “Each day it draws near that day, my heart breaks over and over again.”

Feb. 23, 2020, is a day Jones will never forget.

Her son, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was running in the Satilla Shores neighborhood when he was chased and shot to death.

A video of his final moments surfaced months later, sparking protests across the country.

“I look at it as, Ahmaud didn’t die in vain.”

On Tuesday, Kemp introduced legislation to change Georgia’s Civil War-era citizen’s arrest statute.

He hopes to close what he calls dangerous loopholes that could be used to justify future acts of vigilantism.

Lawyers for suspects Travis and Gregory McMichael claim they were attempting a citizen’s arrest of someone they thought was committing a crime.

In a press conference Tuesday, Kemp explained, “Ahmaud was a victim of vigilante-type violence that has no place in Georgia … and some tried to justify the action of his killers by claiming they had the protection of an antiquated law that is ripe for abuse.”

Ahmaud’s mother says she’s overwhelmed knowing something is finally being done to protect Georgians.

“Unfortunately, Ahmaud had to lose his life to get change,” she explains.

Lawmakers say this bill already has bipartisan support and believe it will pass. Ahmaud’s family will hold a public vigil on the anniversary of his death next Tuesday, Feb. 23. It will take place at New Springfield Baptist Church in Waynesboro, Georgia at 5 p.m. They’re asking for everyone to wear blue ribbons.

The address of the church is 1996 Hatcher Mill Road, Waynesboro, Georgia.


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