The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, Muslim Advocates, NAACP, and 110 additional organizations committed to racial justice and civil rights in calling on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to open a full and thorough hate crimes investigation into the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Southeast Georgia. The groups also call on the DOJ to conduct a federal civil rights pattern or practice investigation into the local district attorneys, including the Office of the District Attorney of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit and the Office of the District Attorney of the Waycross Judicial Circuit, as well as of the Glynn County Police Department, for systemic constitutional abuses.

On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man, was jogging in a Brunswick, GA suburb when two white men, a former Glynn County Police Department investigator and his son, chased and killed him with a shotgun. For over two months, local authorities refused to arrest the men. Following public outcry and pressure, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations reviewed the case and arrested the two men for murder. Federal intervention is particularly important in this case, as the state of Georgia does not have a hate crimes statute available to address crimes that target victims on the basis of race.
Read the letter addressed to Attorney General Barr and Assistant Attorney General Dreiband here.


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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