Ahmaud Arbery – FBI must widen its investigation

Ahmaud Abrey ABC news

UPDATE:  in two days, 489 One Pulse for America members signed this letter, a further 109 One Pulse for America members have contacted the FBI directly, as recorded in our database, and a further 30 people approximately indicated they wished to sign, but did not supply a home town and state.  This makes a total of 628 people.

8 May 2010 – Ahmaud Arbery would have been 26 today, but he was executed by two gun-wielding white men in February.  They claim the unarmed black jogger must have been a burglary suspect – so they killed him.  Virtually nothing was done:  no arrests made, no plans to have any kind of legal action was taken.  The father and son duo, Gregory and Travis McMichael, claimed Mr Arbery somehow started it; this claim soon evaporated when a damning video showed up.  The footage seems to have led to a grand jury being convened.  As many are saying, the grand jury is being convened not because the authorities saw the video, it’s because WE saw the video.

Ahmaud Abrey ABC news
Glynn County police said on 28 April – nearly two months after the shooting – they were ‘gathering evidence’ – this excluded arresting and questioning the men.

It is not hard to imagine what would have happened instead if the jogger was white and the two shooters were black.

The tragic story also destroys some myths used by the pro-gun NRA and other factions.  They would have you believe that ‘good guys with guns’ need weapons to stay safe, and the people who get guns and have permits are all trained, professional, ‘good guys’.  It is likely the men who killed Mr Arbery had the correct registrations and permits (as loose as Georgia’s laws are):  the NRA would have you believe that gun-owners like them are law-abiding people who are very responsible.  These myths never held water and don’t hold any water going forward.   If the men in the truck had mobile phones and no guns, they could have called the police to report siting a possible suspect (how they think they recognized Mr Arbery needs to be examined, as does whether or not they placed any such call or just killed – it looks like they just killed).  It’s likely the police would have arrested Mr Arbery unlike their failure to arrest those who killed him.  Still, he would be alive.

Aside from the glaringly-obvious fact the public is supposed to telephone police if they think they see a possible suspect and not shoot the person dead, the shocking behavior, inaction, and procedural errors on the part of the state demand investigation.  It certainly looks like racism, conspiracy, and ignorance were why no one was arrested at the time.  The McMichaels enjoyed months of freedom, and had a long opportunity to work on their stories, tamper with evidence, while enjoying their lives while Mr Arbery was dead and his family mourned.


We will send the following open letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, copying in various other bodies.  After careful deliberation, looking at the behavior of Georgia’s Governor down to the law enforcement agencies involved here, it is pointless to ask these people to investigate their own serious problems.

Please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:


TO: The Federal Bureau of Investigation

CC:  S Lee Merritt (attorney for Ahmaud Arbery’s family), ACLU, Black Lives Matter, Vic Reynolds – Georgia Bureau of Investigation, The Supreme Court of Georgia, Derrick Johnson – president of the NAACP


Is Georgia institutionally racist?  We believe the evidence speaks for itself and the answer sadly is ‘yes, definitely’.  

The murder of Ahmaud Arbery is one of the most outrageous cases that lead to that conclusion; sadly, it is not unique in Georgia’s history.  We are aware the FBI is investigating this case.  We write to ask the FBI to widen its scope and investigate more broadly how racism operates within the State of Georgia’s law enforcement agencies and governor’s office.  

How can the execution of an unarmed jogger who is black by two white men not even lead to an immediate arrest?  Institutionalized, entrenched racism seems to be the answer to that question, and the entire state needs to be part of an investigation by an independent external body.  We know the FBI prioritizes hate crime, and as we have no confidence in Georgia to investigate its own corruption, we call upon the FBI to act.

We write to demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery, his family, friends and community.   We are disgusted that months elapsed with no arrests, and we are only too aware of the opportunities the suspects have had to synchronize their stories, alter or destroy evidence, and/or influence the outcome of legal action.  We will be watching intently, and we expect to see justice done and expect long custodial sentences for anyone found guilty of executing an unarmed person, especially as race has clearly played a part throughout this situation.  We also feel such an outcome is not likely unless the investigation we ask for is held.

We want to see Georgia implement hate crime legislation; it is one of the few states that do not have any such provisions.  We demand Georgia upholds Federal hate crime legislation.  USA Today quotes Georgia Bureau of Investigations Director Vic Reynolds as saying:  “There’s no hate crime (law) in Georgia.”  I would remind Mr Reynolds, one of the parties on copy of this letter,  and the GBI that there are federal hate crime laws and these should be applied here, eg The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.  No stone, no piece of relevant legislation can be ignored in this case.

S Lee Merritt, attorney for the deceased’s family, said and we agree: “Prosecutors will need a grand jury in order to formally indict these men, but that has nothing to do with actually going out and arresting the men seen on camera murdering a 25-year-old unarmed black man…  The prosecutors actually have the option, if they so choose to, to directly indictment [sic] and skip the entire grand jury process,” he added. “It’s something that happens all the time in our legal system, and this would certainly be an appropriate moment.”  We demand an explanation as to how the grand jury route was chosen, who was involved, and this too should be part of the broader, essential investigation.

 It speaks volumes that shooter Gregory McMichaels is a retired Glynn County police officer and investigator with Brunswick’s district attorney’s office.  We demand a re-examination of every case he was involved in, however long that may take.  If this retired ‘professional’ thinks he is at liberty to execute suspects, then the public needs to know what other wrongs he may have committed, and whether they were racially-motivated. 

We need to find out what hate groups the McMichael may be involved in:  are they Klan members, neo-Nazis, far-right violence advocates?  We demand that no one involved in a hate group be permitted to work in any aspect of law enforcement or indeed the entire public sector.

We write as members of gun law reform group One Pulse for America, and normally we would write to a state governor to appeal for intervention in such a situation.  However, we have seen photos of Governor Kemp posing happily with a white man wearing an anti-Islam t-shirt.  We are aware of black community leaders’ feelings about Mr Kemp re-opening the state during Covid19 situation, and how this is very likely to particularly harm black citizens.  Kemp is tied to voter suppression, and is linked to cancelling 1.4 million voter registrations.  Kemp is also an endorsed supporter of the discredited NRA, linked forever with Russian agents, Russian money and Russian election tampering.  We don’t want to appeal for his help:  we want to appeal for your investigation to examine him too.

Georgia’s gun laws are some of the loosest in the country; it is no wonder its shooting and gun death statistics are so appalling https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/congress/ga .

More lives will be lost, more injustices done and an independent, sweeping, thorough investigation into racism in Georgia’s law enforcement system must be conducted to try to correct this unacceptable status quo.  We demand this investigation be convened as soon as possible.  We also demand full transparency on the murder of Mr Arbery and want everyone culpable in mismanagement of the case investigated too.

To Mr Arbery’s family, friends, community we send our condolences, and One Pulse for America will be happy to take actions to demonstrate our support alongside you.  Please let us know how to help.

We want the FBI to reply to our letter.  We invite those on copy, whether they are  part of the problem or the community organizations we are reaching out to, to send us their thoughts too.  We will be only too happy to take other relevant actions to fight against Georgia’s out-of-control gun culture and racism.

  1.  If you want your name on the letter, then please add your name, hometown and state on the post.
  2. If you want to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation on your own, use the text above, customizing as you wish and send to:

Phone:  (202) 324-3000

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/FBI/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/FBI 


Once you have made contact, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!

Shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson: officer must be charged

12 October 2019, Ft Worth, Texas– a twenty-eight-year-old woman is dead.  Atatiana Jefferson was shot in her own home by an officer standing outside of it who had been called to check a non-emergency situation.  He is suspended – not charged with any crime.  She was caring for a young nephew when she was gunned down.

As Television News team WSB reported:  “Police bodycam video shows officers with flashlights and guns drawn scanning the perimeter of the home. The front door appears to be open although the screen door is closed. As officers continue to walk through the property, one of them sees a person standing at a dark window and yells: “Put your hands up. Show me your hands,” before firing a single shot.

In the video, he does not identify himself as a police officer”

The man who called the police, concerned for his neighbour because a door to her home was opened, told reporters:   “I’m shaken. I’m mad. I’m upset. And I feel it’s partly my fault.” Mr Smith told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive.”

“I called my police department for a welfare check,” Smith told WFAA. “No domestic violence, no arguing, nothing that they should have been concerned about as far as them coming with guns drawn to my neighbor’s house.”

Smith, who has lived in the neighborhood 50 years, is sorry he called the NON-EMERGENCY POLICE NUMBER about the doors.  The police were NOT led to believe there was a situation or emergency – but the officer who took this woman’s life has neither been arrested nor charged.

The  Ft Worth Police issued a statement – without a single word of accountability or apology in it – no doubt on the advice of their legal team.  It outlines what happened omitting the fatal errors of procedure and judgment the police made.  The police have told the press that there was a gun on the premises but no evidence she held it, let alone threatened anyone with it.  Mentioning this irrelevant weapon seems to many to be an attempt to smear the deceased’s reputation.  By all accounts, she was simply a woman at home looking after a nephew, and rather than the police ringing her doorbell, they in a blind and unjustified, training-ignoring move, snuck around her house, shouted once, and killed her.

Rights activist Shaun King tweeted:  “I need you to show up in a major way for this fund to support the family of #AtatianaJefferson. She was the provider and caregiver for her entire family and they need our help IMMEDIATELY. Make your best donation today, please. LINK: gofundme.com/f/1s5tcouu9c


1.   We would like members to send financial support to the family if they are able to – all amounts will help:  That link again is:  https://gofundme.com/f/1s5tcouu9c


2.  We will contact the Ft Worth Police;

Please contact Ft Worth Police through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:


 The sickening murder of  Atatiana Jefferson is going unpunished tonight, why haven’t  you arrested and charged the officer who killed her?   


If your training is so appalling that a non-emergency call to check on welfare ends up with the shooting murder of the woman you were supposed to ensure was safe, it is time for you to fire everyone responsible for putting this person on the street with a badge and a gun.  You have cost lives before, but this is unthinkable.


I cannot help but wonder whether racism is playing a part here.  If you can’t understand why it looks that way, kindly explain to me why an officer skulks around Ms Jefferson’s home and shoots her dead after yelling a command she possibly did not hear, and could never have imagined was directed to her in her own home.  It looks like your video ends just as the shot rings out – and it looks like that shot immediately followed the ridiculous yelling of your untrained, dangerous officer.  It is a disgrace.  It also looks like he didn’t even identify himself as being in the police.  Further, the only clear and present danger in the video is not the woman walking in her home, but your armed, lethal, over-reacting, law-breaking officers.  There are many questions, but one question I want you to reply to me on in particular – and I do expect  a reply from you.  If your officer was so terrified for his life to the point he decided to use lethal force and shot the 28-year-old woman within seconds of yelling at her window: how was it that he immediately decided no one else was in her home and  it was safe to rush inside and try to give her CPR?  I want to know more of what the video record shows and will be watching for more of it to be released.

I am absolutely furious at this turn of events and will follow closely the proceedings.  I am going to send aid to the family if I can, and if they choose to sue, which I hope they do, I will do my best to support them.

If there were any honor in your force, senior officers would have resigned in disgrace with huge remorse over something like this.  Your force is not fit for purpose as things stand, and if you don’t arrest and charge the officer now, you are sending the message that black people, women, anyone – can be shot dead in their Ft Worth home by you.  Protect and Serve?  Not in Ft Worth. 

Suggested tweet:   


Arrest officer NOW 4 manslaughter-min. Ur video conveniently ends as what sounds like shot heard: there’s zero time for any1 in house 2 respond: if u were safe in ur own house- even if you heard put ur hands up- u wd not remotely think u were about 2 b shot. This is disgusting.


Phone:  817-392-422

Email: via website – currently not responding https://police.fortworthtexas.gov/

and email:  CPD_ProfessionalStandardsCaptain@fortworthtexas.gov

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/InsideFWPD/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/fortworthpd


Once you have made contact, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!