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Ahmaud Arbery's death sparked some policy change, but one year later his family still awaits justice

February 23, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.3%. 2 min read.

Wanda Cooper-Jones never imagined having to live life without her son Ahmaud Arbery.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp recently announced plans to repeal the Civil War-era citizen's arrest law; the southern Georgia prosecutor who failed to make an arrest after Arbery's death was voted out of office in November; an Atlanta area district attorney is now prosecuting the case; and Kemp signed a hate crime bill last year spurred by outrage over Arbery's death.

James Woodall, president of the Georgia NAACP, said these actions are critical to addressing what he says is the racist violence behind Arbery's death.

Woodall said the Georgia NAACP advocated for the state to repeal the citizen's arrest law after Waycross District Attorney George Barnhill -- the second prosecutor to oversee the probe last year -- cited the statute to justify his decision not to charge the McMichaels with Arbery's death.

Cooper-Jones and civil rights activists say they won't get justice in Arbery's death until the McMichaels and Bryan are found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

"Our condolences go out to the family of Ahmaud Arbery on the anniversary of his tragic death," the statement said.

Hogue, an attorney for Gregory McMichael, declined to comment on the case saying "the commemoration of this date belongs to the Arbery family. "

Social justice advocates say despite the policy and leadership changes in Georgia, Arbery's death reflects a structural and societal issue with racist violence in the US.

The protests and community engagement that followed Arbery's death brought attention to this inequity and held law enforcement officials accountable for their lack of action, he said.

Now, Robinson said the nation needs more policies that ensure accountability for every case involving racist violence and more investment in Black communities.

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