According to USA Today, a group of distinguished current and former athletes and coaches are calling for the FBI and Department of Justice to investigate the death the shooting death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, who was heinously hunted and gunned down at the hands of father and son killers Gregory and Travis McMichael.
It took 74 days and hella media pressure for the men to be arrested on Thursday night and charged with murder and aggravated assault, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
In a letter dated Friday (May 8) and written on Players Coalition letterhead, the group asks Attorney General William Barr to intervene in the case, which has caused a firestorm of emotions and outrage from the African-American community, particularly because the incident happened on February 20th and the men were not immediately charged due to what the tweet describes as “conflicts of interest and inaction amid local authorities.”
Today should've been Ahmaud Arbery's 26th birthday. Instead, our nation is mourning. Because of the local conflict of interest, @playercoalition, other athletes, and I are urging Attorney General Barr, to have the FBI and the DOJ investigate this tragic death. We need action. pic.twitter.com/2qG8lih6A4
— Anquan Boldin (@AnquanBoldin) May 8, 2020
Via USA Today: “The letter is signed by 64 athletes and coaches, including several members of the Players Coalition, which was founded by NFL players in 2017 to address areas of social and racial inequality (in the midst of the Colin Kaepernick blackballing catastrophe.)
It also includes signatures from an assortment of other notable names in the world of sports, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Hall of Fame safety Aeneas Williams and NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent.
“We must strive to achieve the lofty but basic promise of equal justice, a promise on which our democracy depends,” the group writes in the letter. “Having the DOJ intervene in this case and lead the investigation immediately will help us move toward that goal.”
In the letter to Barr, the coalition of players and coaches argue that federal intervention is necessary because Gregory McMichael used to work for the local police department, ensuring it “can never be independent.” The group also claims that local prosecutors only called for a grand jury, which it describes as “the bare minimum,” after an outcry from activists and politicians.
“A grand jury isn’t enough,” the Players Coalition also tweeted.”For people to put faith in our justice system, the FBI must get involved w/ the DOJ’s Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division like they did for Rodney King, the Danziger Bridge shootings, and Parchman prison where local officials fell short.”