Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old unarmed Black man who was fatally shot while out for a jog in Georgia, would have turned 26 years old today (May 8). To remember his death and love for fitness, supporters began the #IRunWithMaud Twitter hashtag on Wednesday (May 6), in an effort to encourage others to jog 2.23 miles — an observation of the date of his death — on Arbery’s birthday.
Now, many have flocked to Twitter to share their jogs in honor of Arbery, while others wear shirts that read, “Exercising while Black should not be a death sentence.”
“Running today in memory of this young man who was taken from his family way too soon in a senseless violent act,” one Twitter user wrote. “Happy Birthday Ahmaud and Rest In Peace.”
“#irunwithmaud Because mothers shouldn’t have to worry that their sons won’t make it home from their runs,” another tweeted.
Arbery’s birthday arrives one day after Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested and charged for murder and aggravated assault. In the police report, they argued that Arbery resembled a suspect from a series of robberies in the area. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) announced it would host a press conference for local media about the McMichaels’ arrest on Friday morning (May 8). The conference is available to watch on Facebook.
According to a press statement from the GBI, the agency was requested to investigate Arbery’s death by the District Attorney Tom Durden and the Glynn County Police Department on May 5.
In his press conference, GBI Director Vic Reynolds said that the agency’s investigation will “hit the ground running” and “bear every resource and all the experience this agency has.”
“The governor of this state wants justice done in this case, as does the GBI, and I am confident that we will deliver that,” Reynolds said on Friday (May 8).
See some of the Twitter users participating in #IRunWithMaud below.
Today, I run for a man I don’t know. Today, I run for a situation that I cannot understand. Today, I run for racial injustice that hurts my heart and angers my soul. — Danielle O'Neil ♀️ (@DanielleONeil_) May 8, 2020
Today, #IrunwithMaud. Every day I will continue to run for those who can’t. pic.twitter.com/iBdxbKjvfH
.#ahmaudarbery Sending blessing to his family and loved ones. We must continue to keep his name uplifted until he gets justice in the courts. We must use this tragedy to spring us into action. We want #justiceforahmaud and until then #irunwithmaud ✊ https://t.co/tqk5nP2yil pic.twitter.com/gIPeCqbn8U— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) May 8, 2020
This morning, I made it a priority to get up extra early to begin running at exactly 2:23am. Ahmaud Arbery, may your soul rest peacefully and justice be served. #IRunWithMaud pic.twitter.com/HwHIjLGOye— Tia (@1tiabia) May 8, 2020
Happy Birthday #AhmaudArbery.— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 8, 2020
You’re bravery in the face of death is humbling and inspiring. I pray the ancestors give us all the strength and courage to #fightlikeAhmaud. #IrunwithMaud https://t.co/NTF4MMpflk pic.twitter.com/SU6kVXih9y
A year and a half ago I was asked to write a commentary on the impact of Violence on the health status of African-Americans. My sentiments then, are unchanged today. I'll run that 2.23 miles in your honor after work today Ahmaud. #IRUNWITHMAUD @SocietyofBAS pic.twitter.com/SNYx2uUPmh— Paris Butler (@DrParisButler) May 8, 2020
#IrunwithMaud because he was gunned down by racists assholes and is no longer with us. Because my heart hurts for a community that deserves better. Because justice never happens. Because love has to win some times. Because this HAS TO END NOW! pic.twitter.com/WshOvaE8Fk— LoCoRunner (@Lorriec13) May 8, 2020