Arbery was followed and killed by three men who mistakenly believed he was a burglar.
The mother of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was pursued and shot dead by potential guards in Georgia, has filed a lawsuit against the men charged with killing her son.
According to National Public Radio, the lawsuit was filed Tuesday by Wanda Cooper-Jones in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. It names father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan as defendants.
All three of the defendants are white and are charged with carrying out a racially biased attack on Arbery.
In her lawsuit, Cooper-Jones accused the men of “deliberately and maliciously” plotting to “follow, threaten, arrest and kill Ahmaud Arbery”.
Cooper-Jones’ complaint, according to NPR, also alleges that local prosecutors worked with Glynn County law enforcement officers to cover up the details of Arbery’s murder.
A mural by Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA. Image via Wikimedia Commons – Attribution: Judson McCranie. (CCA-BY-3.0).
Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s mother, told ABC News that Cooper-Jones intends to pursue any lead in her search for justice.
“Justice for this family seems to seek the system that justified it, that allowed these men (McMichaels and Bryan) to roam for months, that was improperly prosecuted, that provided racist explanations or why the shooting was warranted “said Merritt said. “This is George Barnhill, Jackie Johnson, the entire PD of Glynn County. Miss Cooper is a fighter and she instructed us not to stop on the road to justice. “
ABC News recounts how Arbery, 25, went jogging in Satilla Shores, Georgia, less than two miles from his own home.
During his run, Arbery was watched by a surveillance camera wandering into a house under construction – possibly looking for water or just motivated out of curiosity. Arbery did not have the resources, tools, or supplies to possibly take anything undetected.
However, Arbery’s brief detour was noticed by McMichaels and Bryan, who appear to have been “hired by local law enforcement to respond to recent violations.”
The men mistook Arbery for a burglar and followed him.
Together, the two McMichaels and Bryan Arbery followed in their truck and tried repeatedly to trigger a confrontation. Arbery was eventually shot multiple times after the potential vigilantes pulled a gun.
It took months for the case to gain national attention – in large part because local authorities were quick to rid Arbery’s killers of wrongdoing.
In her lawsuit, Cooper-Jones states that the murder was partially facilitated by the Glynn County’s Sheriff’s Department to represent the McMichaels and Bryan in hopes of catching whoever was responsible for a number of local break-ins.
“These men believed they were authorized to pursue the man on the building site because they were represented by the Glynn County Police Department,” the lawsuit said.
The McMichaels and Bryan are currently awaiting trial for malicious murder, criminal murder, aggravated assault, wrongful imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false incarceration.
All three have so far pleaded not guilty; Her lawyers insist that Cooper-Jones is simply trying to track down someone she believes has “deep pockets.”
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