‘I wanted him to hear my voice’
Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, said President Donald Trump was “compassionate” toward the families of victims of police brutality during a Tuesday meeting associated with his police reform executive order, Newsweek reported.
Arbery was killed by civilians, although his death and the way it was handled by local police and prosecutors set a foundation for the racial unrest that occurred after George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer on May 25. One of the men charged with Arbery’s murder was a former police officer.
“I was very very emotional throughout the whole conference,” Cooper-Jones told Fox News. “[Trump] was very compassionate. He shows major concerns for all families, not just one family but for all families. I can say that President Trump was very receiving. He listened and he addressed each and every family accordingly.”
Some were critical of Cooper-Jones and the other families for participating in the meeting with President Trump, who is often viewed unfavorably on issues of race. Cooper-Jones stands by her decision to participate.
“I wanted him to hear my voice,” Cooper-Jones said.
Cooper-Jones said the executive order was a positive step, although she doesn’t believe it goes far enough, and it doesn’t address the circumstances that led to her son’s death.
“I don’t think that’s enough, but I do think that is a start,” Cooper-Jones said. “I didn’t think that order addresses anything that concerns Ahmaud’s case at all.”
Cooper-Jones and the other families also met with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is leading Senate Republican efforts to draft police reform legislation.
Arbery was chased down by two residents in Glynn County, Georgia, after he was suspected of burglarizing an unoccupied home under construction. Travis and Gregory McMichael pursued him in their truck, with firearms. Travis McMichael shot Arbery during a physical altercation when they cornered him.
The McMichaels were not arrested and charged with Arbery’s murder until more than two months had passed after his death, once the video of the altercation was leaked to media.
The families of the other victims, included Arbery, Botham Jean, Antwon Rose, Jemel Roberson, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Dean, Darius Tarver, Cameron Lamb, and Everett Palmer.
Author: Aaron Colen