Take 2: Justice for Arbery, salon violations

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Hannah Gonzalez

The Take 2 series features brief weekly updates on the state or nation's relevant news for the community.

Ahmaud Arbery: A video of a black man, Ahmaud Arbery, being shot and killed while jogging back in February has gained national attention this week. Arbery was unarmed while jogging through a Brunswick neighborhood when father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael shot him twice. They claim that he was a burglary suspect and the son, who fired the shots, acted in self defense. The McMichaels were arrested Thursday evening charged with murder and aggravated assult. This comes more than two months after the crime. 

Significance: This case has sparked racial tension across the country. An unarmed black man being chased down and killed by two white men paints a picture of a “modern lynching.” With race put aside, it was a murder in broad daylight. It took ten weeks and public outrage for justice to be served. Lee Merritt, an attorney of Arbery’s mother, said the case should be looked into as a hate crime. 

Salon owner controversy: Shelley Luther, owner of Salon À la Mode in Dallas, was released from jail Thursday afternoon by order of the Supreme Court of Texas. This follows Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s public criticism of the “political stunt” and called for her to be released immediately. Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail for civil and criminal contempt as well as a $7,000 fine. State District Judge Eric Moyé gave the salon owner a choice to admit to her actions being selfish and wrong and promise to obey the law, or face jail time. She chose the latter, because “feeding [her] kids — is not selfish.”

Significance: With public attention following the controversy, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that he is eliminating jail as a consequence for violating an order. In other states, similar occurrences have happened in which citizens are jailed for violating stay-at-home orders. In California, standing on the beach was made a criminal offense while the court ordered seven high-risk sex offenders to be released early to prevent them from contracting the coronavirus. In a tweet, Abbott said, “criminals shouldn’t be released to prevent COVID-19 just to put business owners in their place.”