11 May 2020- for immediate release
Over 600 members of gun law reform group One Pulse for America sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation today, demanding the agency widens its investigation on the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.
The case of Mr. Arbery, who was shot and killed while jogging near Brunswick, Georgia in February, went without any arrests for over two months, sparking protests and outrage across the country.
The FBI is investigating the case, but the One Pulse for America letter demands the investigation scope be widened. The letter asks for scrutiny of everyone who should have arrested and charged the suspects, any ties the suspects may have to racist and/or far right groups, the extent racism played in the crime and its handling, and consideration of applying federal hate crime law.
Suzanne Kelly, a spokeswoman for One Pulse for America, said, “There are many shootings in Georgia we attribute to its lax gun laws, and the state sadly lacks hate crime laws most other states have. The murder of Mr. Arbery and the failure to immediately arrest those involved suggests cronyism and institutionalized racism. Nothing short of a wide-ranging, independent investigation leading to meaningful, concrete outcomes is remotely acceptable.”
A grand jury is to examine the case. Father and son suspects Gregory and Travis McMichael have now been arrested following the release of a damning video on social media. Gregory McMichael had a lengthy career as an investigator in the Brunswick district attorney’s office before recently retiring.
Kelly said, “The FBI should, as it prioritizes hate crime investigation, look into every case McMichael handled. It needs to investigate every single person who should have acted to arrest, to gather evidence, to prepare a case and examine how and why they failed. Do these people have ties to McMichael, to extreme pro-gun, far right and/or racist groups? There is no room for such people in law enforcement, or anywhere in a democracy.”
One Pulse for America, the gun law reform activist group founded by George Takei, collected over 600 signatures from its members on this letter in two days; over one hundred members also sent emails, tweets and messages to the FBI and other agencies in support of Mr. Arbery’s relatives and community.
One Pulse for America was founded after the horrific Pulse nightclub massacre in which 48 people lost their lives. The members take actions on a range of gun-related incidents, contacting relevant officials and agencies to demand justice and change.ENDSAbout One Pulse for AmericaOne Pulse for America was founded by actor/LGBTQ rights activist George Takei in response to the mass shooting at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.
The One Pulse for America Facebook group has been part of a successful effort to close the “passion gap” with pro-gun activists. Our members take daily action to bring strategic pressure on legislators and other decision-makers by amplifying support for gun violence prevention efforts at the national, state and local level. Our ultimate goal is to change social norms surrounding guns and obtain life-saving reforms that will end America’s epidemic of gun violence.
Further information: Suzanne Kelly