Oakland Township man says the murder of Ahmaud Arbery hits close to home

Posted at 6:10 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 20:44:33-04

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Georgia’s attorney general has asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate how local law enforcement handed the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.

The Attorney General says there are far too many questions about why it took 74 days for two men allegedly caught on video shooting the young African-American jogger to be arrested.

In the meantime, a young metro-Detroit attorney is getting national attention for speaking out about how he says what happened to Arbery is impacting his life.

“As a black male who jogs in a mostly white suburb, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery hits close to home. I go to great lengths to wear bright athletic wear. I don’t jog close to any lawns. I wear my law school paraphernalia. And you know what? None of that matters. This is America,” tweeted Arnold Reed II.

Reed’s comment has now been retweeted more than 58,000 times and national media outlets have reached out to him. The Oakland Township resident, who works as a lawyer at his father’s law office in Southfield, spoke to WXYZ

“I knew that it happened a few weeks ago and then when the video surfaced it was gut wrenching to watch. It was so hard for me to watch…” he said. “I put myself in his shoes. You are jogging through your own neighborhood and two people come up to you with guns. They don’t have a cop car. There is no official uniform. No police badge. Just think about how intimidating that can be.”

Reed lives in a predominantly white neighborhood. He has always felt concerned that someone would think he was doing more than just exercising while out running. Since seeing that video he is even more concerned. He stays closer to home, where he knows neighbors know him.

“I used to go on a lot longer runs, but now in my neighborhood I have cut my runs in half,” Reed said.

“I know I am a black male in America and that in itself is all some people are able to perceive. Even though I am highly educated, I have two degrees and I know my self worth, when some people perceive me all they see is a threat,” he said.

He says he is speaking out in the hope that someone becomes more aware of biases that they may not realize they have, the fear they may feel without reason and the judgments that can lead to tragedy.

“I would just say to anybody watching this, realize the power you have to make a positive change in your community,” he said.