Ahmaud Arbery’s Death Should Grieve Us All

There’s a lot that we don’t yet know about the chilling and tragic story surrounding the violent death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery of Brunswick, Georgia.

But here’s what we do know.

On February 23rd Ahmaud Arbery was killed in broad daylight while running on a suburban street following an altercation with Gregory and Travis McMichael.

According to a press release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the McMichaels – who are father and son – “confronted Arbery with two firearms. During the encounter, Travis McMichael shot and killed Arbery.”

The McMichaels told police they thought the young man resembled a burglary suspect and pursued him after spotting Arbery running on the road.

Cellphone video footage of the chase and deadly shooting of Arbery, who is black, was leaked this week, eliciting a national uproar that led to Thursday’s arrest of the McMichaels, who are white.

At this stage of things, a heartbreaking story of this nature always generates more questions than answers.

What role did race play in this horror? What don’t we know? Why did it take more than two months to get to this point?

Can any parent see the smiling face of the tuxedo-clad Ahmaud Arbery and not grieve the loss of young life? That young man had his whole life ahead of him. Little did he know while lacing up his shoes that day that he was doing it for the last time.

Try putting yourself in the shoes of Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother. From one parent to another, I cannot imagine the pain she is living through right now. She needs our prayers.

Senseless death is all too common. There is never justification for it. Every life lost diminishes us all.

Let’s await all the evidence and allow the justice system to thoroughly and exhaustively work through this case.

In the meantime, let’s pray that truth will prevail and that peace will hold in Georgia and elsewhere.

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Jim Daly with Paul Batura

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