The mother of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man who was fatally gunned down while jogging through a Georgia neighborhood last year, has filed a $1 million civil rights lawsuit against several people who were involved in her son’s death and investigation.
According to NPR, Wanda Cooper-Jones filed the suit on Tuesday (Feb. 23), which is exactly one year after her son was killed. The lawsuit names Gregory and Travis McMichael and William Bryan, all of whom are facing felony murder charges for Arbery’s death. Several law enforcement officials and local prosecutors were also named in the lawsuit, alleging that they tried to cover-up the shooting.
The complaint listed 14 counts, including failure to prevent harm, excessive force and willful and wanton misconduct. It also says the defendants “were motivated to deprive Ahmaud Arbery of equal protection of the law and his rights by racial bias, animus, discrimination.” Arbery’s mom believes the McMichaels and Bryan only pursued her son because he “was a Black man.”
On Feb. 23, 2020, Arbery was fatally gunned down as he was jogging through a Georgia neighborhood. The McMichaels took their weapons and jumped into their truck to follow the Black jogger, after assuming that he was a suspect in a string of robberies that allegedly took place in the area.
Soon after, there was a struggle over the firearm and he was shot and killed. Bryan recorded the incident and authorities believe he used his pickup truck to try to trap Arbery. They also say he struck him with the vehicle to stop him from fleeing.
The three men were charged with nine counts each — four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, malice murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. They are currently behind bars awaiting trial and their most recent bond attempts were denied.