Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, which has drawn nationwide outrage, has left her fearful for the safety of her own sons.
“I really grapple with this as a mother because in my family, the worst has happened,” the mayor told TMZ. “My 18-year-old nephew was murdered in a case of mistaken identity.” She said that the assailants in that case were young Black men, “but it very personally for my family has highlighted that the worst can happen and as African-American young men there’s often a target literally on their heads.
“Sometimes it’s from other African American young men who are struggling with their own issues and sometimes it's in other forms and faces, but it always concerns me,” she said.
Bottoms and her husband Derek have three sons and one daughter.
Bottoms has described Arbery’s killing as a “lynching” and has joined calls for justice in his case.
Last Sunday (May 10) on CNN’s “State of The Union,” she said the video, in which two Brunswick, Ga., men Greg and Travis McMichael are seen following, confronting and fatally shooting the unarmed Arbery, ultimately led to their arrest.
“I think had we not seen that video, I don't believe that they would be charged," she said.
The McMichaels, who face charges of felony murder in the case, have reportedly hired separate high-powered attorneys to handle their defense. Gregory McMichael is represented by Laura and Franklin J. Hogue, reports the Macon Telegraph. Robert Rubin and Jason Sheffield will represent Travis McMichael, according to WSB-TV.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, has said that her son’s killers deserve the death penalty. "Coming from my point of view, my son died, so they should die as well,” she told TMZ on Tuesday (May 12).
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