”I am a black man who jogs”: Soldier urges for compassion in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

The 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was killed while out jogging after a confrontation with two white men in Brunswick, Georgia.

Footage of the killing sent shock waves around the nation and yesterday federal officials said they consider possible federal hate crime charges in the Arbery shooting. 

One of many affected by this terrible crime is Augustus Turner, a licensed attorney and active duty Army Officer for nine years. 

His post on Facebook, ”I am a black man who jogs”, has been widely has now been shared by thousands.

Read what Augustus writes below:

‘“I am a black man who jogs.

When I jog, I always do so alone. I am also a Soldier, and a large one at that (about 6’2 240 lbs). This means every few years, I have to move to a completely new suburb, and jog, alone. This means that I, like every Soldier, is used to jogging alone, in new places, where people may not recognize, know, or be familiar with me. I am used to it. My wife is not.

For nearly ten years, my wife Michelle cautioned me about how I appear when I jog alone. She will not even let me out of the house unless I wear enough colorful and ‘innocent’ clothing so as not to appear suspicious or threatening when I jog. While she has never said it directly, I know that every time I step out the door, she is afraid my appearance alone could get me killed.

Sometimes, in the back of my head, I foolishly think to myself:

I am just a black man who jogs!

Facebook / Augustus Turner

I am a good person! Why would somebody shoot me just because I am black and unfamiliar? I am a former EMT. I volunteered in an emergency room for over a year to get my way into college. I have been a licensed attorney and active duty Army Officer for nine years. I have helped over 60 sexual assault victims. I have ran a legal aid clinic recognized as one of the best in the Army. I have worked with federal agents to put countless criminals behind bars and break up complex enterprises. I have helped justify the destruction of hundreds of enemy targets in Iraq. I have cleared the names of wrongfully convicted criminals. Who would want to hurt me?

But none of that matters because…

I am still a black man who jogs.

If I frighten the wrong person or match the description of a threatening person…

I become no different from Ahmaud Arbery.

None of the good I have done in my life will stop a vigilante mob from chasing me in their trucks, cocking their firearms as they approach me jogging, gunning me down, recording it, and apparently getting away with it.

Although I am a black man who jogs, please…treat me like a white man who jogs.”

Facebook / Augustus Turner

Than you for your service. It is truly sad that we live in a society that has put people in groups. My prayer is that you are safe as you do you ! I will keep you in my prayers along with your wife. Thank you again for all you have done for our country and continue to do. God bless you….