Justice Department Must Investigate Ahmaud Arbery’s Murder

The Equal Justice Society joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, Muslim Advocates, NAACP, and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and 110 additional organizations committed to racial justice and civil rights, in a letter calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to open a full and thorough hate crimes investigation into the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

The groups also called on the DOJ to conduct a federal civil rights pattern or practice investigation into the local district attorneys, as well as the Glynn County Police Department, for systemic constitutional abuses.

“The DOJ, including the FBI and the Civil Rights Division, must conduct a full investigation into Mr. Arbery’s killing under federal hate crimes and conspiracy statutes. The publicly available facts, including the harrowing video documenting the intentional killing of an African American man in broad daylight by two White men who stalked him, support opening an investigation under federal hate crimes statutes, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, as well as federal conspiracy statutes,” the groups wrote in their letter to Attorney General Barr.

“There are sufficient grounds to open a federal civil rights pattern or practice investigation of the local prosecutors and the police department,” the groups wrote.

“At a time when we are seeing a spike in hate crimes, the role of the Civil Rights Division in working with the FBI to investigate and prosecute hate crimes cases and ensure constitutional enforcement of the law by state and local law enforcement agencies is more important than ever. The DOJ has publicly acknowledged the real and growing threat of white supremacy and white nationalism in the United States. The murder of Ahmaud Arbery and actions of the local district attorneys and police department warrant the DOJ’s action. This terrifying violence is not new; it is part of the continuing dehumanization of Black people across America. We cannot fight the racism, hate, and impunity that threaten the lives of Black people and other people of color unless the department takes the necessary actions to ensure full and real accountability,” concludes the letter.

The full letter is available here, and the participating organizations are listed below:

  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Muslim Advocates
  • NAACP
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • ACCESS
  • ACLU of Georgia
  • ADL (Anti-Defamation League)
  • Advancement Project
  • African American Ministers In Action
  • Alliance for Gun Responsibility
  • American Association of People with Disabilities
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Humanist Association
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
  • Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
  • Amnesty International USA
  • Andrew Goodman Foundation
  • Arab American Institute
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network
  • Bend the Arc Jewish Action
  • Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Border Angels
  • Brady
  • Bridging Cultures Group Inc.
  • CAIR
  • California Association of Human Relations Organizations
  • Center for American Progress
  • Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
  • Center for Responsible Lending
  • Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism-California State University, San Bernardino
  • Center or Constitutional Rights
  • Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
  • Coalition of Labor Union Women
  • Coalition on Human Needs
  • Defending Rights & Dissent
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Demos
  • Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
  • Emgage Action
  • Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
  • Equal Justice Society
  • Equity and Justice Institute, Crossroads School
  • Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity
  • Gays Against Guns
  • Generation Progress
  • Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda
  • Gun Violence Prevention Education Center – Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
  • Gun Violence Prevention PAC
  • GunSense Vermont
  • Hip Hop Caucus
  • Hispanic Federation
  • ICNA Council for Social Justice
  • International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies
  • Japanese American Citizens League
  • Jewish Council for Public Affairs
  • Joint Action Committee
  • Juvenile Law Center
  • Lambda Legal
  • The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • League of Women Voters of Georgia
  • League of Women Voters of the United States
  • MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
  • March For Our Lives
  • Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Matthew Shepard Foundation
  • Media Alliance
  • Muslim Community Network
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • National Association of Human Rights Workers
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National Black Caucus of State Legislators
  • National Black Justice Coalition
  • National Center for Law and Economic Justice
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
  • National Council of Churches
  • National Council of Churches USA
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Council of Negro Women
  • National Employment Law Project
  • National Equality Action Team
  • National Fair Housing Alliance
  • National Hispanic Media Coalition
  • National LGBTQ Task Force
  • National Organization for Women
  • National Partnership for Women & Families
  • National Women’s Law Center
  • National Workrights Institute
  • New American Leaders
  • Paths to Understanding
  • People For the American Way
  • PFLAG National
  • Public Citizen
  • Revolutionary Love Project
  • San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium
  • Sattaur Leadership Institute
  • The Sikh Coalition
  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Los Angeles
  • South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
  • Southern Center for Human Rights
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • States United to Prevent Gun Violence
  • The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • UnidosUS
  • Union for Reform Judaism
  • The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
  • United Sikhs
  • United We Dream
  • Voices for Progress
  • Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture