Father of Ahmaud Arbery works to preserve son’s legacy in years since his death

ATLANTA — More than four years after Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed in Brunswick, Ga., his father is working to keep the message of his son’s life and violent death alive.

His father Marcus, spoke just over a month after what would have been his 30th birthday.

In Brunswick this year, there were celebrations calling for unity in the community, but for his father, how he died is still fresh, and painful.

“It’s still hard, the number one thing is how he lost his life,” Marcus Arbery said.

For Marcus Arbery, even four years later, the pain of how his youngest child was killed is still raw. Feb. 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was out for a job when three men attacked and killed him in a Brunswick neighborhood.

“It still hurts because he was just a loving young man, he loved his family, and if you knew him, you really, really, really see the heart he had,” Marcus Arbery said.

In what was a highly publicized murder trial, three men, Greg and Travis McMichael and William Roddie Bryan, were all convicted of federal hate crimes in Ahmaud Arbery’s murder.

His father says he misses hearing his son’s voice every day.

“He would give you the shirt off his back, that’s just how much he cared about the people he loved,” Marcus Arbery said.

Since Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, there has been an outpouring of support. Every February, runners get together and use the hashtag “Run With Maud” and his mother Wanda started the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation.

As Marcus Arbery reflects on what happened to his son, his hope is that no other fathers have to lose their child like he did.

“My life ain’t been the same, since he lost his life,” Marcus Arbery said. “I just look at life a whole different way.”

In November 2021, a jury convicted the McMichaels and Bryan for Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, and in February 2022, they were convicted of federal hate crimes.

Civil rights leaders called the verdict a victory for racial justice.

The year that Ahmaud Arbery died, Georgia lawmakers passed a state hate crime bill into law.

In March 2024, the three men convicted for Ahmaud Arbery’s death appealed their federal hate crime convictions. The case is still making its way through court.

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