People are expressing solidarity with Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was fatally shot while jogging earlier this year, by going for runs of their own on Friday, which would have been his birthday.
Arbery was chased and shot by a former police officer and his son in his South Georgia neighborhood in February. The case exploded across social media after graphic cell phone video surfaced last week showing Arbery trying to run past Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, who are in a truck. It’s not clear which man shoots, but Arbery is hit twice, and then attempts to wrestle a shotgun out of the hands of the younger McMichael. The footage ends with Arbery collapsing on the ground.
Arbery’s family says he was likely out for a jog when he was attacked, while the McMichaels claim he looked like “the suspect in a string of break-ins,” according to The New York Times. Arbery was unarmed.
In response to his death, Arbery’s former high school football coach Jason Vaughn is rallying supporters to go for a jog in Arbery’s honor, asking supporters to run 2.23 miles — representing the date upon which he was killed — on the day Arbery would have turned 26. Vaughn is asking participants to use the #IRunWithMaud hashtag.
“With COVID-19 of course, we can’t have a demonstration where we all come together,” Vaughn told CNN. “Any runner can identify with [him and] can go out there and hit the pavement and go jog.”
HuffPost has reached out to Vaughn for more information.
The hashtag has spread across social media, with celebrities like Olivia Wilde and Ava DuVernay encouraging people to get involved and “raise awareness about racism and injustice in this country.”
District Attorney Tom Durden announced last week that he’ll be presenting Arbery’s case to a grand jury, which will decide if charges will be filed against the McMichaels, who haven’t been charged despite public backlash.
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