People react during a rally to protest the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man Friday, May 8, 2020, in Brunswick Ga. Two men have been charged with murder in the February shooting death of Arbery, whom they had pursued in a truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Tom Brady, other athletes seek federal probe in Brunswick shooting

The Players Coalition and dozens of professional athletes sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting an immediate federal investigation into the death of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick.

Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband also was sent the letter on Friday. It was signed by such sports stars as Tom Brady, Steve Kerr and Players Coalition co-founders Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins.

The Players Coalition was formed in 2017 to raise awareness about police and community relations, criminal justice reform and education and economic advancement. It developed out of the dispute between NFL team owners and the players who were kneeling during the national anthem to bring a focus on social injustice.

The letter requested that the FBI and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division lead the investigation into the shooting of Aubrey, a black man, on Feb. 23 by two white men, Travis and Greg McMichael. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation charged the father and son this week with murder and aggravated assault after a video of the shooting was leaked and shared widely, sparking outrage.

The coalition’s letter cites delays by prosecutors and asks for a “robust federally led investigation ... the only way to restore community trust that Mr. Arbery’s death will be fully investigated.”

It includes 64 signatures, including Pro Football Hall of Famer Aenaes Williams and the NFL’s director of football operations, Troy Vincent.

>> The AJC’s continuing coverage of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

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