Tom Brady and Anquan Boldin, the celebrated NFL players, joined the list of prominent players and coaches on Friday who voiced for a federal investigation into the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot while running in Georgia.
On Thursday, State investigators of the case took Gregory McMichael, a white former police officer 64, and his son Travis, 34, into custody and put the charge of murder and aggravated assault on them in the killing that took place in the small coastal town of Brunswick on Feb 23.
Earlier this week, the video of the incident got viral on social media. It ignited outrage among activists who alleged the killing of Ahmaud Arbery was a case of white perpetrators killing a black man and going unpunished in the United States.
Boldin, the Players Coalition co-found, wrote an open letter to Attorney General William Barr, in which he mentioned, “We have all now seen the video showing the final moments of Mr. Arbery’s life and how the McMichaels stalked him like prey. His only crime: running while black.”
Signed by 64 players and coaches, the letter accused that the local police and jury pool were compromised and called for the Department of Justice and the FBI to take charge of the investigation.
Until weeks after Arbery’s killing, the suspects were not taken into custody. Two prosecutors have pulled off from the case as they were linked with the elder McMichael, once an investigator for a local district attorney’s office.
The coalition’s letter said that if the DOJ turned its back on this “obvious injustice,” it “will abandon its role as the champion for the defenseless and give the unmistakable message that the federal government is not going to protect us from violence, prejudice, and injustice in our communities.”
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers forward and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson were also shocked by the footage that showed Arbery jogging past the McMichaels’ pickup truck before a shot is fired and then grappling with a man holding a gun before more shots are fired.