STATEMENT: Delayed Arrests in the Ahmaud Arbery Case Shows That Racism Is Endemic in America’s Justice System

STATEMENT: Delayed Arrests in the Ahmaud Arbery Case Shows That Racism Is Endemic in America’s Justice System

Ahmaud Arbery

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael were arrested for the February 23 murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia. The murder of Arbery, who was gunned down while he was on an afternoon jog, has only come to light following the circulation of the video of his killing and a large public outcry. Although the police allegedly had access to the video for weeks, they failed to arrest or charge either McMichael until the video became public. Following the delayed arrests, Danyelle Solomon, vice president for Race and Ethnicity Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The murder of Ahmaud Arbery once again underscores that there is seldom justice for white violence against Black people without a large public outcry and extensive media attention. There are two Americas—one Black and one white—where the wheels of justice operate differently depending on one’s skin color. Systemic racism in our nation’s police departments, prosecutors’ offices, and courts is alive and well. Arbery’s murder shows the need to actively fight both individual and systematic racism. We must require real accountability from U.S. law enforcement and elected officials if we ever want to live up to the idea of a just America.