Brunswick, Ga. – Ahmaud Arbery’s mother woke up on Thanksgiving Day Thursday with a new, very important blessing.
But there will still be an empty chair at family gatherings. It’s a reminder of when he feels justice was done when three white men helped shoot his son convicted on Wednesday When he ran through a coastal Georgia neighborhood to corner and kill him, he would never be made again because his son is gone.
“This is the second Thanksgiving we’ve had without Ahmed. But at the same time I’m grateful. This is the first Thanksgiving we’re saying we’ve got justice for Ahmed,” Arby’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said in a statement Thursday. told The Associated Press in an interview.
Three white men who chased and killed Arbery in Brunswick in February 2020 were convicted of murder on Wednesday. They surrounded Arbery after discovering that he had been seen on a surveillance camera at a nearby under-construction home and wanted to question him about recent thefts in the area.
Arbery ran to the neighborhood and other areas near his home to clear his head. He had nothing in his hand and ran away from the men for five minutes Before one of them fired three shots at him with a shotgun. The men face life in prison when they are later sentenced and a federal hate crime trial for them is scheduled for February.
Cooper-Jones said that after the verdict was delivered on Wednesday, she thought of her son’s supporters who “justice for Ahmoud!” at the Glynn County Courthouse every day. Used to shout
“I finally got a chance to come out those courtroom doors and say, We did this, we did it together,” Cooper-Jones said.
Cooper-Jones, when she heard the judge plead guilty 23 times, was the mother of Ronald Green, a Louisiana man who died in 2019 after he was beaten up and followed by a high-speed chase. Was put in a chokehold by the state soldiers. Troopers said Green suffered injuries in an accident, but his doctors told him that was not true. The federal civil rights investigation into Greene’s death continues.
In the days after the murder of his son. Cooper-Jones receives a call from the mother of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen murdered by a man who successfully claimed self-defense during his murder trial after confronting Martin as he lived in his gated community. was gone. Martin was going to visit relatives.
He also spoke to Breonna Taylor’s mother. Taylor was killed by Louisville, Kentucky, police who broke into her home without knocking while serving a warrant during a drug operation. Taylor’s boyfriend opened fire on the group. The authorities were not charged in his death.
Other mothers who lost sons and daughters to racial violence or police shootings also reached out. Cooper-Jones calls him a sorceress.
“We will come together. We share our experience and we grow together,” she said.
Cooper-Jones has spent the past six weeks away from home since jury selection began on October 18. She moved away from Brunswick after her son was murdered.
So she is planning a quiet Thanksgiving away from home today. He’s not sure if they’ll make Arbery’s favorite—Pork Chops and Butter Beans—but if not Thursday, they’ll soon have them because he said his son loved them for Sunday dinner.
“Today is going to be a really rest day. I’ve been sitting in that courtroom since October 18,” Cooper-Jones said. “I’m gathering my immediate family. We’re going to have a small dinner. We’re going to be grateful. We’re going to give our praises to God.”
Other relatives are also grateful for the blessings of justice.
“We are grateful for Ahmed’s life. Thank you for the love he has shown us, for all the years we have. Thank you for the fight we have fought for justice. Thankfully we can now begin healing. can,” Arbery’s aunt Thea Brooks told the AP.
Cooper-Jones is also grateful that her son’s killers are facing justice and that his death will make Georgia a safer place.
After Arbery’s death, Georgia became the 47th state to pass a hate crime law. The legislature also repealed the civil arrest law that defense attorneys try to use to justify his pursuit, banning people who do not possess the shopkeepers from detaining people outside Huh.
“When they hear my son’s name. They will say, this young man, he lost his life but he brought change,” Cooper-Jones said.