Beyoncé has joined the rising chorus of artists and activists paying tribute to Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old man who was allegedly killed while jogging by two white men in Glynn County, Georgia, in February.
The singer wrote “Rest in Peace Ahmaud Arbery” along with a widely-seen image of Arbery in a black suit.
Beyoncé’s tribute came amid a rising tide of anger and outrage over Arbery’s killing following the release of a video on Tuesday in which father and son Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, can be seen chasing down Arbery before the clip runs out following a struggle over a weapon being wielded by Travis McMichael; the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said that it was the younger McMichael who shot and killed Arbery on Feb. 23, according to the New York Times.
The McMichaels were arrested and charged on Thursday (May 7) with aggravated assault and booked into jail after several days in which everyone from former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to LeBron James, Common, Justin Timberlake, SiriusXM radio host Sway Calloway and many, many more prominent figures demanded justice. Biden aid that Arbery had been “lynched before our very eyes,” adding that the disturbing incident “call[s] to mind the darkest chapters of our history.”
McMichael had blood on his hands when police arrived and Arbery later died of his wounds, with Gregory McMichael telling police that he and his son chased Arbery, who they said they thought was a “suspect” in a rash of local break-ins, with both men grabbing weapons because they “didn’t know if the male was armed or not,” according to the Times.
Police said Arbery was not armed and not a suspect in any crime, but instead was a former football player who frequently jogged through the neighborhood for exercise. Neither man — Gregory McMichael is reportedly a former Glynn County police officer and former investigator with the local D.A.’s office — had been in custody until Thursday. After two prosecutors recused themselves from the case due to ties to McMichael, a third prosecutor said on Tuesday that the case should be heard by a grand jury.
Check out Bey’s tribute (courtesy of a fan site).