Anupama Denise

Anupama Denise

Anupama started "Say Their Names" in 2020, an Anthology of Stories of the Black and Brown humans lost to police violence. She believes strongly that sharing stories creates change.

In Loving Memory of Maud Son, Friend, Runner

“The video is clear: Ahmaud Arbery was killed in cold blood…” – Joe Biden⁠

Killed in cold blood: Ahmed Arbery, 25 yrs old. ⁠

Crime: Jogging in the neighborhood, and being black.

Death: Chased and killed by 2 armed white men⁠.

Sentence: Ahmaud lost his life. The two men face charges. The third, involved in the case and who filmed the shooting was arrested on May 21, 2020, shortly after the Georgia Bureau of Investigations got involved with the case (GBI).

“Mr. Arbery, 25, was a former high school football standout who was living with his mother outside the small city of Brunswick. He was shot dead in a suburban neighborhood called Satilla Shores. Friends and family said he liked to stay in good shape, and he was often seen jogging in and around his neighborhood.” ⁠

“According to RunWithMaud.com, one of the murderers, a police officer, refused “…to attend training related to de-escalating and use of force on the job. He was banned from carrying a gun on duty, and restricted from doing any ‘real police work'.”

What breaks my heart most about a story like this, is how long it took for anyone to get arrested and how much pressure the police department faced before doing so. Ahmaud was murdered on February 23, 2020, and according to acluga.org, his murderers were not arrested until May 7, 2020, 10 weeks and 4 days after the murder, and only after the case had been handed off like a hot potato to three different District Attorneys, each recusing themselves. The GBI became involved on May 5, 2020, but only to investigate “threats against the Georgia County Police Department… and the public release of the video related to the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery”

I want you to read that statement again. The GBI was not investigating the murder, they were investigating the public release of the video… Cool, just making sure our priorities are straight here. 

On May 6, 2020, public response and pressure to the aforementioned statement from the GBI caused them to launch their own investigation into Ahmaud's murder. (*rolls eyes*) Shortly thereafter on May 10th, the “Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr requested the US Department of Justice to conduct an investigation into the handling of the … case.” (Thumbs up, bud.)

Finally, on May 21, 2020, the GBI arrested the 3rd person involved with the shooting with Felony Murder and Criminal Attempt to Commit False Imprisonment. 

Now, we can't forget our county judge. who on JUNE 4, 2020, WHICH WAS 4 DAYS AGO, 14 WEEKS AFTER THE MURDER, ruled that “there was enough probable cause to proceed with charging [the murderers] on all charges related to the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery.

This CNN article goes on to describe other hate crimes that Ahmaud faced before his tragic death, including “an elaborate chase”, including hitting him with a truck and slandering him with racial epithets before killing him. 

“I often imagine the last minutes of my son's life. I didn't imagine it would be that harsh, but to learn that that statement was made in the last seconds of his life … it was very heartbreaking,” Ahmaud's mother said.

I don't know if there's anything that can be said to soothe the pain from this murder, but the first time I can run two miles (I'm getting back into shape), I promise to complete a 2.23 mile run in honor of this young man, and all that his friends, family, and community lost with his passing. 

“Getting justice for Ahmaud has been an uphill battle from the start. Given the attackers’ close relationship with law enforcement, transparency and accountability cannot be taken for granted in any way. The Glynn County Police department, responsible for the initial investigation into Ahmaud’s death, is a notoriously corrupt institution.” – RunWithMaud.com

Ahmaud deserves Justice for his murder. Support now and be the change!

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