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1 year after his death, family of Ahmaud Arbery planning celebration of life

Ahmaud Arbery was a young man from Georgia before the world came to know him for a viral video that shows him being shot and killed. This week his family plans to celebrate his life on the one-year mark of his death Tuesday, February 23rd.

Ahmaud Arbery was running not far from his Glynn County home on Feb. 23, 2020, when he was shot and killed. It would be months before the world came to know him from a viral video of his shooting death at the hand of a former Glynn County police officer and that man’s son.

Right now three men -- Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Roddie Bryan -- are awaiting trial on charges of malice murder, false imprisonment and several other charges in connection with Arbery’s death.

This week, his family plans to celebrate his life with two events. On Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of Ahmaud’s death, the family will have a candlelight vigil at his gravesite. On Saturday, there will be a parade held in his honor.

Last May, hundreds of people march down the street where Ahmaud Arbery died after being shot and killed.

During the summer, hundreds of protestors and Arbery’s family called for the arrest of anyone involved in his death.

Initially, his death was said to be due to a “citizens arrest” and no one was charged.

In a letter to the Glynn County Police Department, Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill wrote Travis McMichael fired his weapon in self-defense, adding, “We do not see grounds for an arrest.”

But after a viral video was released, the momentum of the case escalated.

Protests began in Georgia and beyond. Glynn County, Georgia was being questioned by the world about why hadn’t there been an arrest.

After months of waiting, the McMichaels and Bryan were arrested.

Every month, new details about the day Arbery was shot, and the men’s actions leading up to the shooting, have been released.

In December, body camera footage was from the immediate aftermath of Arbery’s death.

Earlier this month and Gov. Brian Kemp asked the Legislature to repeal Georgia’s Civil War-era citizen’s arrest law that was initially cited as a reason to not hold The McMichaels and Bryan accountable.

As the world waits for the murder trial, Arbery’s name is now tied to social justice and as the life that caused the ripple effect for “citizens arrest” to be changed in Georgia.

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