Ahmaud Arbery’s Mother Files Federal Lawsuit Over Death Of Her Son

Wanda Cooper-Jones legal action names several parties as defendants.

A year after her son Ahmaud Arbery’s death at the hands of alleged vigilantes in Brunswick, Ga., Wanda Cooper-Jones has filed a federal lawsuit against them, the Glynn County police, and the district attorneys who originally handled the case.
“For nearly three months, Glynn County police officers, the chief of police, and two prosecutors conspired to hide the circumstances surrounding Ahmaud’s death and to protect the men who murdered him,” says the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday (Feb. 23).

Cooper-Jones attorney Lee Merritt told Atlanta station WSB-TV that the lawsuit seeks Glynn County to address race issues that contributed to Arbery’s shooting.

“What we’re really looking for is an amount determined by a jury or a fact finder that would cause Glynn County to address the systemic issues that not only cause Ahmaud’s death but leaves the community vulnerable,” he said.
RELATED: Ahmaud Arbery -- A Year After His Death, His Mother Still Grieves and Seeks Justice

Arbery, 25, died when father and son Greg and Travis McMichael followed him as he jogged through a neighborhood near Brunswick, allegedly suspecting him of burglary. The two confronted him, and as the younger McMichael wrestled him while pointing a shotgun, he fired, killing Arbery on the spot. Both men, along with William “Roddie” Bryan, were charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Bob Rubin, who represents Travis McMichael, said that the lawsuit was expected and that he would review it. He told WSB-TV that compensation would need to be sought from other sources because his client has no assets.
The lawsuit alleges that Glynn County had deputized the McMichaels, leading them to believe they had some authority to attempt to subdue Arbery. It also charges former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson and Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill for allegedly delaying arrest because of Greg McMichael’s relationship with Glynn County police. 

Both of them recused themselves from the case, and it is now in the hands of Cobb County prosecutor Joyette Holmes.
“When I laid Ahmaud to rest, one of the last things I shared with my son was I will fight for you, son. Now it has been revealed what happened. My fight turns into justice,” said Cooper-Jones.

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