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Ahmaud Arbery’s mother reflects on her son’s death a year after his murder while jogging


  • A year after Ahmaud Arbery was hunted down and shot, her mother says she is unable to move.

  • “Over time I realize that Ahmaud never comes back,” said Wanda Cooper-Jones NBC.

  • Arbery’s death was one of many that sparked Black Lives Matter protests last summer.

  • Visit the Insider home page for more stories.

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother has spoken of her son’s death a year after he was killed while jogging in a coastal town in Georgia.

Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was chased and shot by 64-year-old former police officer Gregory McMichael and his 34-year-old son Travis McMichael on February 23, 2020.

A video of the meeting taken by William “Roddie” Bryan went viral in May. The McMichaels were arrested on May 7 for murder and aggravated assault. Bryan was also arrested on May 21 for murder.

The elder McMichael told police he sued Arbery because he looked like a man suspected of being responsible for a series of local break-ins. However, only one break-in was reported in the area between the start of the year and the day Arbery was shot.

In an interview with NBC News Airing Monday night, Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, said a year later that she was still unable to move on.

“I’m trying but when I put Ahmaud to rest last February, part of me went too and it’s tough,” Cooper-Jones said.

Jones said footage from the video and body camera footage of Arbery’s death replayed in his mind every day.

“It’s hard. Over time, I realize that Ahmaud never comes back. I think I was numb before. I was in a state of numbness. And as the days went by, the The numbness is gone, and I’m really – it’s very painful. Very painful, “Cooper-Jones said.

Arbery’s death was one of many deadly confrontations with police that sparked a spate of Black Lives Matter protests last summer.

“It was a feeling of hope,” Jones said as she watched the protests, adding that it made her feel like she “wasn’t alone.”

Arbery’s death, in particular, prompted the state of Georgia in June to pass a hate crime law to impose additional penalties for crimes committed on the basis of discrimination. The measure also requires the state to collect data on hate crimes, USA Today reported.

Prior to the measure, Georgia was only one of four states without a hate crime law. As a result, while lawyers for Arbery said the crime was racially motivated, the McMichaels could not face hate crime charges by the state.

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