Justice Department Must Investigate Ahmaud Arbery’s Murder

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, Muslim Advocates, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and The Andrew Goodman Foundation along with 110 additional organizations committed to racial justice and civil rights, called on the U.S. Department of Justice to open a full and thorough hate crimes investigation into the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. The groups also called on the DOJ to conduct a federal civil rights pattern or practice investigation into the local district attorneys, as well as the Glynn County Police Department, for systemic constitutional abuses.

“The DOJ, including the FBI and the Civil Rights Division, must conduct a full investigation into Mr. Arbery’s killing under federal hate crimes and conspiracy statutes. The publicly available facts, including the harrowing video documenting the intentional killing of an African-American man in broad daylight by two White men who stalked him, support opening an investigation under federal hate crimes statutes, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, as well as federal conspiracy statutes,” the groups wrote in their letter to Attorney General Barr.

“There are sufficient grounds to open a federal civil rights pattern or practice investigation of the local prosecutors and the police department,” the groups wrote.

“At a time when we are seeing a spike in hate crimes, the role of the Civil Rights Division in working with the FBI to investigate and prosecute hate crimes cases and ensure constitutional enforcement of the law by state and local law enforcement agencies is more important than ever. The DOJ has publicly acknowledged the real and growing threat of white supremacy and white nationalism in the United States. The murder of Ahmaud Arbery and actions of the local district attorneys and police department warrant the DOJ’s action. This terrifying violence is not new; it is part of the continuing dehumanization of Black people across America. We cannot fight the racism, hate, and impunity that threaten the lives of Black people and other people of color unless the department takes the necessary actions to ensure full and real accountability,” concludes the letter.

The full letter is available here, and the participating organizations are listed below:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
American Civil Liberties Union
Human Rights Campaign
Muslim Advocates
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
ACLU of Georgia
ADL (Anti-Defamation League)
Advancement Project
African American Ministers In Action
Alliance for Gun Responsibility
American Association of People with Disabilities
American Federation of Teachers
American Humanist Association
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Amnesty International USA
Andrew Goodman Foundation
Arab American Institute
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Black Women’s Health Imperative
Border Angels
Bridging Cultures Group Inc.
California Association of Human Relations Organizations
Center for American Progress
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Responsible Lending
Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism-California State University, San Bernardino
Center or Constitutional Rights
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Coalition on Human Needs
Defending Rights & Dissent
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
Emgage Action
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
Equal Justice Society
Equity and Justice Institute, Crossroads School
Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity
Gays Against Guns
Generation Progress
Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda
Gun Violence Prevention Education Center – Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
Gun Violence Prevention PAC
GunSense Vermont
Hip Hop Caucus
Hispanic Federation
ICNA Council for Social Justice
International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies
Japanese American Citizens League
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Joint Action Committee
Juvenile Law Center
Lambda Legal
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
League of Women Voters of Georgia
League of Women Voters of the United States
MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
March For Our Lives
Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Media Alliance
Muslim Community Network
Muslim Public Affairs Council
National Association of Human Rights Workers
National Association of Social Workers
National Black Caucus of State Legislators
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
National Council of Churches
National Council of Churches USA
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Negro Women
National Employment Law Project
National Equality Action Team
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Law Center
National Workrights Institute
New American Leaders
Paths to Understanding
People For the American Way
PFLAG National
Public Citizen
Revolutionary Love Project
San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium
Sattaur Leadership Institute
The Sikh Coalition
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Los Angeles
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Southern Center for Human Rights
Southern Poverty Law Center
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Union for Reform Judaism
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
United Sikhs
United We Dream
Voices for Progress
Washington State Religious Campaign Against Torture

About The Andrew Goodman Foundation

The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s mission is to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy by training the next generation of leaders, engaging young voters, and challenging restrictive voter suppression laws. The Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program partners with America’s colleges and universities to provide resources, visibility, and mentoring to a national network of student leaders who involve their peers in participatory democracy through long-term voter engagement, public policy, and social justice initiatives. The organization is named after Andrew Goodman, a 20-year old Freedom Summer volunteer, and champion of equality and voting rights who was murdered by the KKK in 1964 while registering African Americans to vote in Mississippi.

About The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit