One year after the shooting death of her son Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging in Georgia, Wanda Cooper-Jones continues to struggle with her loss and the lack of progress in his case.

In June, Greg McMichael, 64, his 34-year-old son Travis, and William “Roddie” Bryan, 50, were charged with murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment in Arbery’s fatal shooting on Feb. 23, 2020.

All three suspects, who are white, remain in custody while awaiting trial. Arbery, who was 25 and Black, was unarmed at the time of the shooting.

“When I laid Ahmaud to rest last February, a part of me left also,” Cooper-Jones said on Monday’s airing of NBC Nightly News.

Online, the reactions echoed that emotion. Shaeleigh Severino, a progressive Democrat running for New York City Council, called for social change on the anniversary.

“Too many Black men, women and children have become hashtags or days on a calendar when we remember that we’ve lost them,” she said from her Twitter account.

 

 

The three men pursued Arbery, who was out for a jog, after spotting him inside a home under construction, arguing his run made him suspicious. No charges were filed initially, but an investigation heated up months later after cellphone video of the incident surfaced online.

Since the fatal shooting, Georgia Gov. Kemp repealed a 150-year-old statute on civilian arrests and signed a hate crime bill.

“This bill repeals the current Civil War-era statute in order to prevent the terrible consequences of a vague and outdated law, and clarifies when a citizen, business owner, or law enforcement officer may reasonably detain an individual,” said in a statement on repealing the arrest statute last week.

Greg McMichael told authorities he spotted Arbery running in his neighborhood and thought he matched the description of a burglary suspect.

State investigators weighing in on the June arrest of the three suspects said Travis McMichael, who fired the fatal shots at Arbery, was overheard uttering a racial slur as he stood over Arbery’s body.

Arbery’s name has been memorialized alongside the likes of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as part of the Black Lives Matter movement that seeks to put an end to racial injustice.

The three Georgia man who were charged, belatedly, in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a young black jogger The three Georgia man who were charged, belatedly, in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a young black jogger Photo: Glynn County Sheriff's Office / -