Engel Statement on Charges Being Brought in Ahmaud Arbery Case

Engel Statement on Charges Being Brought in Ahmaud Arbery Case

Congressman Eliot Engel issued the following statement in response to news that charges were brought in the Ahmaud Arbery case:

"The video of Ahmaud Arbery being murdered was shocking and painful, but just as shocking was the manner in which the case was handled by Georgia officials up until today.

"It shouldn't take publicly leaking a video of an unarmed black man being killed by two white assailants for arrests to be made and charges to be filed. Arbery was killed back in February. For 3 months, the father and son who were responsible walked free. It seems, at best, convenient timing that the arrests happened just days after the video became public and outcry ensued. What it tells us, once again, is that when it comes to race in America, justice is often far from blind.

“The missteps in this case that led up to today made by the local District Attorney and police force are clear. Why did it linger at the local level for 10 weeks? If there was a conflict of interest, why wasn’t the Georgia Bureau of Investigation called sooner? Why wasn’t a Grand Jury immediately convened to hear evidence, especially when other entities in the state were open?

"I only needed one viewing yesterday of the 30 second Arbery murder video to call for an FBI and DOJ investigation, and conclude that charges were probably warranted. The State of Georgia owes Ahmaud Arbery's family an explanation for why it took them so long to come to that same conclusion."