Today, NAACP President Derrick Johnson delivered the following statement on the one year anniversary of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery by white supremacists Travis McMichael and his father Gregory McMichael, a former police officer with the assistance of William “Roddie” Bryan:
“One year ago today, two white supremacists shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery, an innocent Black man who was jogging down a road in Glynn County, Georgia.
In America, Black lives are cut short for wearing a hoodie, attending church, buying iced-tea, being at home, and jogging outside, in Arbery’s case. The unspeakable injustice that took the life of Ahmaud Arbery not only sparked nation-wide peaceful protests, but ignited a new era in the movement for civil rights.
As the nation mourned, strategized and organized, the NAACP launched We Are Done Dying, a campaign calling for an end to racial violence and domestic terrorism. Ahmaud Arbery did not die in vain, and the fight for his justice is far from over.
A year following his senseless murder, we continue to see white supremacy on the rise. From the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd at the hands of police to the white supremacist-led Capitol insurrection on January 6th, and now the CDC’s life expectancy of Black Americans dropping more than three times that of white Americans, innocent Black lives continue to be disproportionately and inhumanly taken every single day.
So I call upon Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and restore the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Ultimately, this will pave the way forward for a more just and equitable America — an America where white supremacy is met with fierce intolerance from all levels of government and from society as a whole.
Black Lives Matter. Ahmaud Arbery’s life matters. Today and every day, say his name.”
Johnson’s statement follows the call from the leaders of the nation’s most influential civil rights and social justice organizations who have scheduled a media briefing for Wednesday, February 24, to demand federal action to reform the nation’s police departments through passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
Scheduled to participate in the briefing are:
- Derrick Johnson, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President & CEO
- Marc H. Morial, National Urban League President & CEO
- Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund President & Director-Counsel
- Al Sharpton, National Action Network President
- Melanie Campbell, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President & CEO
- Wade Henderson, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Interim President & CEO
- Johnnetta Betsch Cole, National Council of Negro Women National Chair & President
- Damon Hewitt, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Executive Vice President
The media briefing will take place on Wednesday, February 24 at 11:30am EST.
On Tuesday, Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, filed a civil lawsuit against her son’s murderers–and against certain local police officers.