Jay-Z demands Ahmaud Arbery murder convictions in powerful open letter
11 May 2020, 15:42 | Updated: 11 May 2020, 15:51
Jay-Z, Meek Mill and more called for Gregory & Travis McMichael to be convicted of Ahmuad Arbery's murder.
It took two months for Gregory & Travis McMichael to be charged with the murder of unarmed jogger Ahmaud Arbery and the world was shocked as footage emerged of the shooting.
With racial motives being suggested as the motive for the shooting, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Meek Mill and a number of other artists have signed an open letter from Roc Nation, which calls for the Georgia residents to be convicted of murder.
The letter begins:
"The world is now familiar with the story of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year old African American man who, while out jogging in Brunswick, Glynn County, Ga. was hunted down and shot to death by two white men Gregory and Travis McMichael."
It goes on to say, “By now, we've all seen the crime's disturbing video, so the facts here are not in doubt: He was unarmed and innocent and the victim of a hate crime.”
“Which is why we call upon you today, as official leaders of the great state of Georgia, and with the entire world watching, to ensure that a fair trial is conducted, as that can only lead to the appropriate felony convictions of both McMichaels.
Requesting that the man who filmed the shooting and was a neighbour of the two men charged with the shooting, William Bryan, to also be convicted, the letter says, “We also implore you to charge William Bryan as an armed accomplice to the crime.”
Calling for a fair trial to ensure that justice is served, the letter closes by saying, “We truly appreciate that you have arrested and charged these men with Ahmaud's murder, and are hopeful that a trial and conviction will show that, in the state that gave us Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and has been the site of the best and worst of the Civil Rights movement, Dr King's words do ring true: 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice'.”
The letter was signed by Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Yo Gotti, Mek Mill, Attorney Lee Merritt and Attorney Benjamin L. Crump.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden previously claimed that Ahmaud Arbery had been "killed in cold blood".The Democratic candidate said, "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."
One of the accused, Gregory McMichael, is a former police officer and district attorney's investigator. He reportedly claims he and his son followed Mr Arbery because they believed he was behind a series of burglaries in the area. Mr McMichael claims that Mr Arbery "violently attacked" his son Travis, which prompted him to open fire.
The trial is likely to take place in June after delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.