Georgia man's death raises echoes of US racial terror legacy


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BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Many people saw more than the last moments of Ahmaud Arbery's life when a video emerged this week of white men armed with guns confronting the black man, a struggle with punches thrown, three shots fired and Arbery collapsing dead.

The Feb. 23 shooting in coastal Georgia is drawing comparisons to a much darker period of U.S. history — when extrajudicial killings of black people, almost exclusively at the hands of white male vigilantes, inflicted racial terror on African Americans. It frequently happened with law enforcement complicity or feigned ignorance.

The footage of Arbery's death was not the only thing that rattled the nation's conscience. It took more than two months for his pursuers — who told police they suspected he was a burglar — to be arrested and taken into custody. That is fueling calls for the resignation of local authorities who initially investigated the case and reforms of Georgia's criminal justice system.

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