After President Trump signed his executive order on police reform on Tuesday, Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery – an unarmed black young man who was killed in Georgia earlier this year – said that her meeting with the president went smoothly, describing him as “very compassionate.”
Speaking with Bret Baier of Fox News, Cooper-Jones said Trump showed concern for all the families that were present for his conference on police brutality.
“I was very, very emotional throughout the whole conference,” she said. “[Trump] was very compassionate. He showed major concern for all families. Not just one family, but for all families.”
“I can say that President Trump was very receiving. He listened and he addressed each and every family accordingly,” she added.
In response to her comments on Fox News, President Trump hailed Cooper-Jones as a “great woman” on Twitter.
“A GREAT woman. Her son is looking down from heaven & is very proud of his wonderful & loving mom!!!” the president enthusiastically tweeted.
A GREAT woman. Her son is looking down from heaven & is very proud of his wonderful & loving mom!!! https://t.co/ZzKUbjlOOT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 17, 2020
Though she appreciated President Trump’s compassion during their meeting, Wanda Cooper-Jones did tell CNN that she felt the president’s executive order did not go far enough.
On February 23, Ahmaud Arbery was seen running through a neighborhood in Satilla Shores, Georgia, where residents reportedly saw him enter a house that was under construction. Released surveillance cam footage shows Arbery entering the house and observing the area for a few minutes before leaving with nothing in his possession. During this time, a 911 call was reportedly made alerting the police to Arbery’s presence.
According to Gregory McMichael, he spotted Arbery running down the street and thought he resembled a man believed to have committed a previous burglary. Suspecting that Arbery may be armed and dangerous, despite the lack of evidence, Gregory and his son Travis then grabbed their guns, hopped into a pickup truck, and formed a roadblock to enact a “citizens arrest” until the police arrived.
Citizens arrests in Georgia require arresting individuals to have directly witnessed a crime being committed or knowledge of a crime in progress.
In the video that shocked the world, Arbery is seen running up the road until he encounters Travis McMichael. Arbery was shot and killed, the McMichaels claims, while wrestling with Travis for his shotgun. Arbery’s family says he was out jogging and was unarmed.
The case took a dramatic turn earlier this month when William Bryan – the friend who shot the infamous video of Gregory and Travis McMichael chasing Ahmaud Arbery – told a Glynn County court this week that Travis McMichael said “f***ing n****r” after the confrontation.
Attorneys for Gregory and Travis McMichael said that they have been vilified by an “incomplete set of facts.” The Department of Justice has ordered an investigation to determine whether or not Ahmaud Arbery was the victim of a hate crime.
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