Hundreds of demonstrators showed up at the courthouse in Glynn County, Georgia on Saturday (May 16) saying law enforcement officials should be held accountable for failing to initially charge two white men who chased and fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery Feb. 23.
Greg and Travis McMichael were not charged in connection with Arbery’s slaying until May 7, a few days after a video surfaced which showed the tragic encounter. The father and son told police they thought the jogger was a burglary suspect and decided to go after him to make a citizen’s arrest.
But the protesters said it shouldn’t have taken 10 weeks for the arrests to take place.
“Justice for Ahmaud is more than just the arrests of his killers,” said John Perry, president of the NAACP chapter in Brunswick, Georgia at the rally on Saturday, according to the Associated Press. “Justice is saying that we’ve got to clean up the house of Glynn County.”
Speakers at the protest called for the resignation of Brunswick Judicial Circuit prosecutor Jackie Johnson, who recused herself from the case. Greg McMicahel reportedly once worked as an investigator in her office. They also called for Waycross County circuit district attorney George Barnhill to step down because he took over the case and did not press charges. The case is now in the hands of Cobb County prosecutor Joyette Holmes.
“We’re going to keep on marching. We’re going to stand in solidarity. We’re going to keep on protesting. We’re going to keep on raising our voices because Ahmaud Arbery will get justice,” Triana Arnold James, president of the Georgia chapter of the National Organization for Women said at the rally.
Meanwhile, bond has not been set for the McMichaels. The younger man is charged with felony murder and his father is charged as an accessory.
Arbery’s mother, Wendy Cooper-Jones has called for the two men to receive the death penalty for killing her son. "Coming from my point of view, my son died, so they should die as well,” Wanda Cooper-Jones told TMZ last week. “I would like for all hands that were involved, that played a part in my son’s murder to be prosecuted to the highest.”