On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was chased and shot while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia.
Now, while the three white men accused in her death are on trial, her mother has put her life on hold to seek justice for her son.
Ahmaud Arbery’s mother quit her job to attend the trial.
Wanda Cooper-Jones’ tireless efforts to bring her son’s accused murderers to justice have come at a cost.
Amid immense grief over the loss of her son, Cooper-Jones was able to convince Georgia to pass a hate crimes bill, she even met the former president Donald Trump to discuss police reform.
While racial justice groups used her son’s name to raise money for their noble efforts, Cooper-Jones received minimal compensation.
Because her son was allegedly killed by ordinary citizens, although fanatic citizens who mistook a black man jogging in a predominantly white neighborhood for a potential burglar, Cooper-Jones did not receive the kind of settlement they receive. the families of those killed by the police.
But Cooper-Jones wants to be there to see his son’s alleged murderer stand trial.
she said The last three words her son said to her, “I love you,” are what she thinks about when she gets discouraged.
And disheartened, that’s exactly how she said she felt when she learned that only one of 12 African-Americans from the last set of potential jurors had been chosen to sit on the panel.
“I have concerns about obtaining a guilty verdict” Cooper-Jones told the media in response to the next trial.
She quit her job to attend jury selection and rented a house near the courtroom to participate in the month-long trial.
All of this means that in addition to the heartache and trauma of losing his son in what many have called a racially motivated crime, Cooper-Jones is spending the length of the trial with no income or means to support himself. .
A GoFundMe for Ahmaud Arbery’s mother raises funds.
The fundraiser has already reached its goal of $ 100,000 and the funds are going directly to Cooper-Jones to be used at its discretion.
But necessary donations continue to be collected for Cooper-Jones.
While opening statements are expected to begin on Friday, Arbery’s mother says she remains hopeful the three defendants in the murder trial will get a guilty verdict.
The three defendants are Gregory McMichael, 65, a retired police officer, his son, Travis McMichael, 35, and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, 52.
Prosecutors allege the McMichaels armed themselves with firearms and chased Arbery in their truck, wearing a Confederate flag vanity plaque, while Bryan used his vehicle to block Arbery’s path.
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Bryan recorded cellphone video of the confrontation which in part surprised Travis McMichael shooting Arbery during a fight, which McMicheal will likely claim to be an attempted arrest by a citizen.
Bryan also reportedly heard Travis McMichael use a racial slur as Arbery died on the streets.
All three men pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated assault and felony attempt to commit false imprisonment.
The McMichaels and Bryans were also charged with federal hate crimes in April and have all pleaded not guilty.
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Alice Kelly is the news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based in Brooklyn, New York, her work spans everything related to social justice, pop culture, and the human interest. Follow his Twitter to find out more.