FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Howie Hawkins
Hawkins and Walker Call for Federal Prosecution of Killers of Ahmaud Arbery
(May 7, 2020, Syracuse, NY) – Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker called for federal prosecution of the killers of Ahmaud Arbery on Thursday.
Arbery, a 25-year-old African-American man, was jogging unarmed when he was shot and killed by two white men in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23. No arrests have been made or charges filed against the father and son shooters. The father is a recently retired investigator for the local district attorney. The killing provoked an international outcry this week after a video of the shooting surfaced.
“Arbery was murdered two months ago. The shooters, who have ties to the local police and district attorney, have not been arrested. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is only now getting involved because a video of the murder has surfaced. Federal authorities should intervene now because it is obvious that no justice has or will come from Brunswick and Georgia law enforcement. They are riddled with racism and conflicts of interest,” said Hawkins, a candidate for the Green Party presidential primary who is leading in that party’s primaries.
Hawkins’ choice for vice president, Angela Walker of Florence, South Carolina, said, “Ahmaud Arbery was a young, Black man who went out for a run and whose life was stolen by white vigilantes. We know who he is now because of this unconscionable act, and as we are considering the weight of his death, I hope that we will also consider his humanity. He was a son, much loved by his family. He was a beloved member of his community. And he was a life that mattered. A universe lost.”
“We are living in a time where the violence that took Ahmaud’s life is on display for exactly what it is: racist terrorism,” Walker continued. “And we have to acknowledge that this is an ongoing and agonizing reality for Black, Brown and Indigenous people in this country. We must be honest about the violence against these communities that goes to the core of this country, and we have to be fearless in owning and ending it. It is past time. We in the Green Party mourn with the family of Ahmaud Arbery and vow to continue our fight for a world where all are safe.”
Hawkins has long called for federal prosecution when the civil rights of people are violated by local law enforcement because local district attorneys and state attorneys general work too closely on a daily basis with local and state law enforcement to be impartial. Since the 1990s, his local Green Party in Syracuse, New York has called for a Jonny Gammage Law to require federal prosecution in such cases. The proposed law is named after Jonny Gammage, a Syracuse resident who was beaten and suffocated to death in a routine traffic stop by suburban Pittsburgh police. Gammage was visiting his cousin, Ray Seals, who was a defensive tackle for the Pittsburg Steelers at the time. None of the police officers in the case were convicted of any crime. The Clinton administration’s Department of Justice refused to pursue a civil rights action in the case.