Celebrities React To Ahmaud Arbery Shooting

On Feb. 23, 2020, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed while out for a run in Brunswick, Ga, according to CNN. The outlet reports that, according to those who knew Arbery, "[t]he former high school football speedster often jogged through the neighborhoods southwest of Brunswick." However, on that fateful day, someone called 911 to report "a black male running down the street," suggesting that the man — Arbery — might have something to do with a "string of burglaries" in the area.

Per CNN, the unidentified caller told the operator that there was a "guy in a house" that was under construction. The operator assured the caller that they would "get [police officers] out there," adding, "I just need to know what he was doing wrong. Was he just on the premises and not supposed to be?"

The caller replied, "He's been caught on the camera a bunch before at night." According to CNN, "within minutes" of the caller's response, "three blasts erupted from Travis McMichael's shotgun, and Arbery was dead in the street." Travis and his father, Greg McMichael, who used to work for the Glynn County Police Department — which is the county where the incident took place — "chased down Arbery," per CNN.

At the time of this writing, it's been more than 10 weeks since Arbery's death. The fatal shooting in Georgia has gained national attention with people across the country — including numerous celebrities — calling for justice to be served.

NBA stars are sending their thoughts and prayers to Ahmaud Arbery's family

NBA superstar Lebron Jones took to Twitter on May 6, 2020, to tweet a photo of Ahmaud Arbery, writing, "We're literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can't even go for a damn jog man! Like WTF man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!"

He continued, "I'm sorry Ahmaud (Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the heavens above to your family!! #StayWoke #ProfiledCauseWeAreSimplyBlack."

Over on Instagram, fellow NBA star Stephen Curry also shared a photo of the young man, writing, "AHMAUD ARBERY. Sickening what's STILL happening out here. Don't watch the video. Respect this man and his family. Remember the name. #justiceforahmaud."

The video Curry is referring to was originally released by a "local radio personality," according to CNN. The outlet reports that the "36-second clip shows the end of the chase and the shooting. It has sound, but only the shotgun blasts are clearly audible." It appears that the video was taken from "inside a vehicle behind Arbery," per CNN.

Olivia Wilde and Viola Davis are asking their followers to #RunwithMaud

May 8, 2020, would have marked Ahmaud Arbery's 26th birthday. In light of the tragic circumstances surrounding his death, celebrities like Olivia Wilde are calling for action. On May 7, 2020, Wilde tweeted, "Tomorrow would have been #AhmaudArbery's 26th birthday. Run with me to honor him and raise awareness about racism and injustice in this country. #IrunwithMaud." Alongside her tweet, the actress posted a photo of Arbery, promoting a "dedication distance run," which encouraged people to run, walk or jog 2.23 miles.

Viola Davis also used social media to ask her fans to be a part of the movement, writing, "TAKE ACTION NOW!!! GO TO: RunWithMaud.com. Sign the petition. It's a special SUPER petition. When you sign it, it emails EVERY official that has the POWER to arrest the men who murdered #AhmaudArbery."

She added, "#RunWithMaud WE WILL GET #JUSTICEFORAHMAUDARBERY." The latter hashtag is one that many celebrities have used as they discuss the injustice of this tragic situation.

Padma Lakshmi and Wanda Sykes pushed for the arrest of those responsible

In addition to wanting justice for Ahmaud Arbery, celebrities like Padma Lakshmi and Wanda Sykes want to see the young man's killers behind bars. Lakshmi took to Twitter to call for action, writing, "Gregory McMichael & his son Travis McMichael gunned down Ahmaud Arbery, 25, on his daily jog in Brunswick, GA. His mother Wanda Jones said 'He was hunted down like an animal and killed.' She then urged her followers to "[c]all the Glynn County Police Dept & demand their arrest: (912)-554-7800."

In response to a post from producer Andy Lassner detailing the shooting of the unarmed black man, Sykes wrote: "The murder of Ahmaud Arbery should be mentioned everyday until those two killers are behind bars."

On May 7, 2020, mere days after a graphic video surfaced showing the events leading up to Arbery's death, which has since become a "key piece of evidence in the case," Travis and Gregory McMichael "were arrested and charged ... in connection with the shooting," per The New York Times. The charges? Murder and aggravated assault.

Gabrielle Union and Tracee Ellis Ross are fighting for justice

In light of Ahmaud Arbery's death, many celebrities are promising to fight for justice on Arbery's behalf. Gabrielle Union took to Instagram on May 6, 2020, to share the 25-year-old's story, writing, "Ahmaud Arbery. Went for a jog. Chased down. Hunted. Murdered. Its [sic] been months and his killers walk free. I dont [sic] want to beg, plead, reason, cry, or scream for you to see us as worthy of our breath. If you need to be cajoled into empathy, you are not who you think you are."

She continued, "We shot past sick and tired a long time ago. May God hold Ahmaud Arbery's family and loved ones up to the light of goodness and hold them there. We keep fighting. We will not stop. There will be justice. #ahmaudarbery #justiceforahmaudarbery"

Tracee Ellis Ross echoed that sentiment, writing, "Ahmaud Arbery. We know your name. May you rest in peace and know that we are fighting for you. You deserved better than this."

She added, "We demand justice for Ahmaud because we deserve justice. Perhaps you know his name by now, or perhaps you don't. But please pay attention everyone. This is what's happening in our country. This is what's STILL happening in our country. And not only in Georgia. It's happening everywhere."

According to CNN, in early May 2020, Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden — who is the third prosecutor in this case — said he would "empanel a grand jury sometime after June 12, when the state Supreme Court's Covid-19 restrictions are lifted."

Our thoughts are with Arbery's family during this difficult time.