Ahmaud Arbery's Mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, Reflects on His Death a Year Later

Chelsey Sanchez
·2 min read
Photo credit: NBC
Photo credit: NBC

From Harper's BAZAAR

A year after he was murdered, Ahmaud Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, continues to speak out.

Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was killed last February when a pair of white men chased him down and shot him as he jogged near his home in Satilla Shores, Georgia. The killers, former police officer Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael, wrongly accused Arbery as the culprit behind recent break-ins in the neighborhood. The McMichaels and William Bryan, the man who filmed the shooting, were arrested and charged with murder weeks after Arbery's death. Per NBC, no trial date for the McMichaels or Bryan has been set.

"I cannot [move on,]" Cooper-Jones told NBC's Blayne Alexander. "I try, but when I laid Ahmaud to rest last February, a part of me left also. It's painful."

In the months after Arbery's death, new evidence emerged from the body cameras of police officers who arrived on the scene. "He was still lying there awake. Alive. Moving his head and his leg," Cooper-Jones said. "It replays in my mind each and every day."

Despite the loss of her son, Cooper-Jones told NBC that she's looking ahead.

"I'm hoping. I pray," she said. "Because I have another son, I have grandsons. I pray, I pray."

Arbery's death, which occurred months before police officers pinned down and killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, gained national prominence as politicians, activists, celebrities, athletes, and the general public demanded justice in his name.

At the time of his death, Cooper-Jones told reporters that Arbery was pursuing a career as an electrician.

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