Ahmaud Arbery's mother files civil lawsuit against men charged in son's death

Orion Rummler
·2 min read

The mother of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man shot and killed one year ago in Georgia, filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday accusing the men indicted in her son's death — and the involved police officers — of conspiring to kill Arbery and violating his civil rights.

The big picture: Arbery's death is one of the many that drove nationwide Black Lives Matter protests last summer, alongside demonstrations over George Floyd's killing. Feb. 23 is the anniversary of Arbery's death.

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Zoom in: Three white men, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, were charged on nine counts following Arbery's death.

  • The McMichaels armed themselves and pursued Arbery, who was out for his daily jog, after telling police officers they suspected he had committed a burglary, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

  • They were indicted on charges including malice murder, aggravated assault, and felony murder.

Driving the news: Wanda Cooper-Jones is seeking $1 million in damages, according to the complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

  • Her suit alleges that Officer Robert Rash "deputized" defendant Gregory McMichael "to engage in law enforcement activity" via text, prior to his decision to pursue Arbery in a truck while carrying weapons. The text was previously reported by the New York Times.

  • The first police officer that arrived on the scene after Arbery was shot "did not check for a pulse or provide assistance," the Washington Post reported last year, citing body camera footage submitted in court.

  • "Attorneys for the men charged with killing Arbery say they suspected he was a burglar and committed no crimes," AP reports.

What she's saying: Cooper-Jones told the TODAY show on Tuesday that footage of her son's death "replays in my mind each and every day."

Read the lawsuit here.

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