Ahmaud Arbery: Georgia church leaders organize ‘walk for justice’ after jogger’s slaying

Dozens of people gathered outside of a South Georgia church for a “walk for justice” to honor Ahmaud Arbery on Saturday.

Ahmaud, 25, was gunned down Feb. 23 as he went on a run through a predominantly white neighborhood near his Brunswick home.

People gathered at the Macedonia Baptist Church in Waycross to honor the former athlete and avid jogger, WJAX-TV reported.

Travis James McMichael, 34, is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in Arbery's slaying. His father, Gregory Johns McMichael, 64, is charged as a party to felony murder and aggravated assault.

Each is being held without bond at the Glynn County Detention Center.

Graphic cellphone footage of Arbery's slaying, which sparked nationwide outrage this week, shows the younger McMichael wielding the shotgun that killed Arbery as he went for a run in the Satilla Shores subdivision. Gregory McMichael, armed with a .357 Magnum handgun, is seen standing in the bed of his son's truck.

Ahmaud would have turned 26 on Friday.

The McMichaels old police they believed Arbery was breaking into homes in their Satilla Shores neighborhood, WJAX reported. When the men saw him running past their home, they grabbed their guns and went after him, police said. Family and friends said Arbery was an avid runner.

It was a case of “modern-day lynching,” Gwen McClendon told the television station. “And, today a mother doesn’t have her child. That’s got to stop.”

McClendon was one of 40 people walking the streets of Waycross for Arbery. She lives in Los Angelos but was visiting family in South Georgia. McClendon said she felt compelled to come and show support.

"I could not not come," McClendon told WJAX.

The Rev. Ferrell Malone organized the demonstration.

“We’re going to bring politicians into accountability to make sure that they do the right thing,” Malone said, referring to the district attorneys from Brunswick and Waycross.

Jackie Johnson is the Glynn County district attorney who recused herself from the case because Gregory McMichael used to work in her office.

George Barnhill took over the case. He also eventually recused himself, but not before writing a letter to the Glynn County Police Department saying he did not believe the McMichaels should be arrested.

"It is totally a cover-up," Malone told WJAX. "This was planned. This was a planned murder."

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