BRUNSWICK, Ga. — "I'm just proud that they're keeping his memory alive," said Marcus Arbery Sr., reacting to the sight of a brand new mural in historic Brunswick featuring the portrait of his son Ahmaud Arbery.
Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed Feb. 23 in Brunswick, his death captured in cellphone video that went viral and that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation calls a key piece of evidence in the investigation into the shooting that took his life.
Marcus Arbery was wearing a face mask with Ahmaud's face adorning the front when he spoke only to First Coast News about the mural. Marvin Weeks, an artist originally from Brunswick, came from Miami to paint the work of art memorializing Ahmaud Arbery.
Weeks told First Coast News that despite the tragedy, he hopes the painting can lead to improved race relations in the city of Brunswick.
“I think it’s illustrated that it’s time to sit down and see how we are all related to this community," Weeks said. "I think we can have a better community and open engagement, because people from all backgrounds are coming together and there’s real issues that need to be dealt with.”
The shooting led to murder charges for Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael, a father and son who are white, who told police they thought Arbery, who was black and unarmed at the time of his death, was a burglary suspect. Both men are charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the case and are behind bars in Glynn County jail without bond.
The building on which the mural was painted will eventually be a center for preserving African-American history in Brunswick.