Long story short, Ahmaud Arbery was in a neighborhood in Georgia. Apparently, he walked into an empty house under construction and looked around and then was shortly thereafter seen running down the street. Was he jogging? Was he running for some other reason? We don’t know for sure, but some local geniuses, one of whom was an ex-cop, were alerted to his presence and thought he could be the guy who had stolen something in the area previously. So, they grabbed their guns, got into a couple of pick-up trucks, chased the guy down and cornered him. Some people have tried to deny that they cornered him, but when you’re on foot and armed men are in front and behind you in cars, then move to block your path, that fits the bill. After a man with a shotgun moved into Arbery’s path, there was a struggle for the weapon, and Arbery was shot to death. Then there seems to have been some local corruption that kept the killers from being arrested before trial, but that appears to have been sorted out.
Now, I have seen a few hot takes on Twitter that try to justify this killing in a variety of ways. They’ve called it a “citizen’s arrest,” have said it was justified if Arbery was the one stealing, have said it was justified by Arbery trespassing on a construction site and even claimed that the men that chased him down, cornered him and later shot him to death were acting in self-defense.
Quite frankly, these are all ludicrous ways of looking at it. Just imagine living in a world where any group of yahoos who thinks you MIGHT HAVE committed any crime feels empowered to chase you down the street with guns and then shoot you to death without having to face legal consequences because they were “just defending themselves” if you try to fight back. That’s the bizarro world the people defending this apparently want to live in.
Despite how ridiculous that is, I do get why some people might think that way. They’ve grown up watching cheap and easy gun violence on TV and in the movies. On TV, you take a bullet in the arm, you just wrap it up and go on. It barely even slows you down. Cops blow people away and you never hear from their crying families. There’s no questioning of whether they made the right call. There are no innocent bystanders hit as they spray bullets everywhere. Their friends even get shot to death and 5 minutes later, they seem just fine. Usually, there are no meaningful consequences of any kind. Life just goes on as it did before. That’s not how it works in the real world.