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Ahmaud Arbery’s mother calls out people using son’s death as profit scheme

Wanda Cooper ultimately wants to “find peace” and “gain justice” for Ahmaud Arbery.

Ahmaud Arbery/Wanda Cooper CNN

Amid the quest to “find peace” and “gain justice” for Ahmaud Arbery, his mother has also had to deal with people attempting to profit off of his death.

Wanda Cooper recently wrote a letter calling out the individuals and groups of people that initially appeared to be helpful in the fight for Arbery’s justice, but were actually benefiting from it.

Cooper admitted she took issue with the I Run With Maud Facebook page because it went from a memorial to a business. Despite addressing her concerns with the owners, she said they failed to resolve the issues, adding they refused to give her access as an administrator and eventually denied her any access at all.

In regards to the I Run with Maud trademark, Arbery’s mother said she was never involved. She called out the trademark applicant, someone who had never met her son, for his failure to seek her approval.

Cooper also slammed the GoFundMe page created after Arbery he was fatally shot by jogging. The idea for the fundraiser, she said, came from his friend whom she trusted to run the account “appropriately.” She clarified that she did not ask for it to be set up, but is grateful for all the donations she’s received. With or without the money, however, she explained she was “prepared to fight” for her son.

Finally, she called out the 2:23 campaign that was named after the day Arbery passed. Cooper said local high school coach Jason Vaughn started the foundation, but with no prior relationship with her son, she believes he could be using his death as a profit scheme.

She explained that her decision to air out the aforementioned groups came only after she was “disrespected” and “ignored.” She ultimately wants to make it clear she does not want her son’s death to be used for monetary gain.

“I could not remain silent, I not only speak for myself, but most importantly I speak for my son. What is important to me is to gain justice for my son and find peace,” she wrote. “I am so disappointed that I must address this issue. The truth is I buried my son and there is nothing about a trademark, a social media page, money, or control that will fix that. I now must protect my son’s name.”

She continued, “The grief is a fight every day of my life. Fighting for justice is something I must do each day and every minute of the day. What I am experiencing is draining, but it is for my son. There is so much we experience after losses due to injustice. I am simply asking everyone to respect my wishes as they are always fair and in the best interest of my family and Ahmaud.”

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