LeBron, Viola Davis, 2 Chainz, and More Speak Out Over Ahmaud Arbery Shooting Death

Two Georgia men gunned down Arbery this year as he was going for his regular jog. Authorities have yet to make an arrest.

LeBron James

Image via Getty/Thearon W. Henderson

LeBron James

A growing number of celebrities and political figures are calling for justice in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed black man who was gunned down while out for a jog earlier this year.

Georgia officials say Arbery was running in the Satilla Shores neighborhood just outside Brunswick on Feb. 23, when two armed white men began pursuing him in a truck. Newly surfaced video shows the men—Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34—confronting Arbery on the road, before a physical altercation ensued. Gunshots were fired moments later and Arbery is seen stumbling before falling face down on the pavement.

The McMichaels told police they followed Arbery because they believed he fit the description of a burglary suspect. Travis McMichael allegedly fired the shots that killed Arbery, as his father — a retired district attorney investigator — stood in the bed of the truck wielding a handgun. Neither man has been arrested nor charged in the fatal shooting, as authorities previously determined the McMichaels acted under the state's citizen arrest and self-defense statutes.

"We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!" Lakers star LeBron James wrote on Instagram. "Can’t even go for a damn jog man! Like WTF man are you kidding me? ... I’m sorry Ahmaud(Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the heavens above to your family!!🙏🏾✊🏾❤️ #StayWoke #ProfiledCauseWeAreSimplyBlack😢😢."

Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden took over the case after two other district attorneys recused themselves over possible conflicts of interest. Durden announced this week that a grand jury will decide whether criminal charges will be brought against the McMichaels.

"After careful review of the evidence, I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges," Durden wrote.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is also among the political leaders — including Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker, and Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams — who have called for a full investigation into Arbery's death.

The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood. My heart goes out to his family, who deserve justice and deserve it now. It is time for a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his murder. https://t.co/alvY5WjdHx

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 6, 2020

"There are a number of agencies that can go out and make these arrests today. That is our demand. The men who murdered Ahmaud should be prosecuted," Lee Merritt, the attorney representing Arbery's family, told NBC News. "We respect that there is a legal process that must be followed in order for formal indictments to take place, but for the safety of this community; for the respect of Ahmaud Arbery's memory we demand that ... these men be arrested."

Footage of Arbery's shooting was released on Tuesday, and has since ignited more calls for justice. Celebrities like T.I., 2 Chainz, Viola Davis, and Leslie Jones have taken to Twitter to either share their condolences and/or demand action. You can read some of the posts below.

"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired." ~Fannie Lou Hamer

RIP #AhmaudArbery 🕊 pic.twitter.com/ha02VqCJqd

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 6, 2020

We need action right now!! We all think we are powerless and that’s what they want us to think! We the people must now take a stand! #AHMAUDARBERY pic.twitter.com/VFoa775nJG

— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) May 6, 2020

YOU CAN DO SOMETHING! these murderers HAVE NOT been charged in the murder of #ahmaudarbery . Visit https://t.co/unL5zNQJB9 NOW to demand justice for Ahmaud! pic.twitter.com/JRy0TW8w7J

— Amanda Seales 🇬🇩✊🏾 (@amandaseales) May 6, 2020

Gregory McMichael & his son Travis McMichael gunned down Ahmaud Arbery, 25, on his daily jog in Brunswick, GA. His mother Wanda Jones said “He was hunted down like an animal and killed.” Call the Glynn County Police Dept & demand their arrest: (912)-554-7800 #JusticeForAhmaud pic.twitter.com/WhtklDySTu

— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) May 6, 2020

The murder of Ahmaud Arbery should be mentioned everyday until those two killers are behind bars.

— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) May 6, 2020

#AhmaudArbery should still be alive right now. This is tragic and unacceptable. It should ignite us all in demands for justice.

I'm calling on the Department of Justice to investigate. We need justice for Ahmaud and his family. https://t.co/l4Pih9xbmR

— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 6, 2020

The video of #AhmaudArbery sickens me to my core.

Exercising while Black shouldn't be a death sentence.https://t.co/GV7GFju7tr

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 5, 2020
As more attention focuses on the troubling killing of #AhmaudArbery, our systems of law enforcement and justice must be held to the highest standards: full investigation, appropriate charges and an unbiased prosecution. https://t.co/5mYI4vA8A6

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