On the anniversary of his killing, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery — an African American man shot dead in the United States while jogging last year — filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on Tuesday.
Wanda Cooper is seeking $1 million (€823,000) in damages in the lawsuit against the three white men accused of killing her son.
The suit also names police and other officials whom Cooper accused of trying to cover up the killing, which shocked the nation and fanned the Black Lives Matter movement.
The lawsuit alleges that the killing was racially motivated and that the accused “were motivated to deprive Ahmaud Arbery of equal protection of the law and his rights by bias, animus, [and] discrimination.”
On February 23, 2020, 25-year-old Arbery had gone out for a run near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia, when he was pursued and gunned down by a father and his son.
Arbery was unarmed.
Local police made no arrests for nearly two months after his killing. It was only after a cellphone video of the incident sparked outrage, that an inquiry was launched into what happened.
The man who recorded the video was also later arrested and charged in the case.
The accused were charged with murder and aggravated assault and are currently in custody awaiting trial.
The new lawsuit alleges that the accused “hunted Ahmaud down. Based on a ‘gut feeling’ that Ahmaud was responsible for prior thefts in the neighborhood, these Defendants shot Ahmaud at close range with their shotgun and killed him.”
A candlelight vigil was planned on Tuesday night in the Waynesboro, Georgia church where Arbery is buried. Those attending were asked to wear a blue ribbon in his honor.
Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden marked Arbery’s death and vowed to address racism in the US.
“A Black man should be able to go for a jog without fearing for his life,” Biden said. “Today, we remember Ahmaud Arbery’s life and we dedicate ourselves to making this country safer for people of color.”