Speed Reads

Ahmaud Arbery Case

Ahmaud Arbery's mother files civil rights lawsuit 1 year after his death

On the anniversary of her son's death, Wanda Cooper, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the three men accused of killing him, plus police officers and other officials who did not immediately file charges in the case.

Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was shot and killed on Feb. 23, 2020, while jogging through a neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia. Gregory McMichael, a former Glynn County police officer and investigator with the Glynn County district attorney's office, and his adult son, Travis McMichael, were charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Police say a third man, William "Roddie" Bryan, was with the McMichaels when they chased down Arbery, and recorded the incident on his phone; he has been charged with felony murder. The McMichaels claimed they thought Arbery was behind recent burglaries in the neighborhood, and they weren't arrested until two months after the shooting, once the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local authorities.

Cooper's lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. Southern District of Georgia, accuses the defendants of pursuing Arbery because "he was a Black man," arguing they were "motivated to deprive Ahmaud Arbery of equal protection of the law and his rights by bias, animus, [and] discrimination." The lawsuit also alleges that the Glynn County Police Department and local prosecutors were part of a "deliberate effort to cover up Ahmaud's murder."