Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker, a cousin of Ahmaud Arbery, says he’s watched the video of Arbery’s death “over 100 times,” and it still doesn’t make sense.
He said the more he watched the video — which shows 25-year-old Arbery jogging in broad daylight before being shot and killed in a confrontation with Gregory and Travis McMichael — he grew angrier and more “pissed off.”
“Man, he did not deserve that,” Walker, 25, told ESPN. “He did not deserve that. And, you know, God has a plan for everybody, man, but, you know, it’s tough. It is. That’s why I watched it so many times. I couldn’t grasp it. It’s such a gruesome video, you want to know why.”
Walker said he still has questions he’s been trying to answer. The last time Walker saw Arbery was February, per ESPN, and the fatal incident occurred on Feb. 23.
After the disturbing video surfaced last week, outrage from the public and celebrities prompted the arrest of the father-son tandem. They were charged with murder and aggravated assault more than two months removed from the killing.
Federal prosecutors are reportedly considering hate-crime charges, which would allow for a separate case in federal court.
Walker has known Arbery, his second cousin, almost his entire life, according to ESPN. They played football together at Brunswick High School in Georgia and lived across the street from each other.
“He was a beautiful soul,” Walker said. “He wasn’t a hateful person. He was not. I can’t name one person he had a beef with growing up. Everybody loved Ahmaud because he was just a clown, a funny guy.”
The third-year Lion recalled a conversation he had with Arbery when he went home for this year’s Super Bowl and to celebrate his birthday on Feb. 1. Walker told ESPN Arbery expressed how proud he was of his cousin, but encouraged him to keep working harder.
“It gives me mixed emotions, and the reason why I say that is because it’s sad because that’s the last memory I have of him, but it’s a good memory because he was applauding me and was telling me to keep moving forward and keep doing me, you know what I’m saying,” Walker said. “Keep balling out on that field.
“It was great in that sense. He was basically giving me motivation and pushing me forward to continue being the best person I could possibly be.”
Walker, who already wears Arbery’s high school number, No. 21, said he plans to write his cousin’s initials on his cleats and wear his T-shirts under his jersey whenever the NFL resumes.
Source: New York Post