Detroit Lions' Tracy Walker says watching cousin Ahmaud Arbery's death 'over 100 times' left him 'pissed off'
A father-son duo, Gregory and Travis McMichael, were arrested and charged after a video of their fatal confrontation with Arbery went viral online
Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker, a second cousin of Ahmaud Arbery, has spoken about the 25-year-old's tragic death and said he had watched the video of his shooting "over 100 times."
Walker, who had known Arbery almost his entire life and lived across the street from him, told ESPN in an interview that he had tried to make sense of his cousin's needless death for months and still has questions he wants answers for.
Abery was shot and killed by Gregory and Travis McMichael as he was jogging through the quiet Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick on February 23, with the entire incident being caught on video by a neighbor of the father-son duo.
Walker said he had watched it "no exaggeration, over 100 times," and that each time left him more frustrated, angrier, and more "p***** off."
"Man, he did not deserve that," Walker said. "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."
After the video went viral last week, both Gregory and Travis were arrested and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. The Department of Justice is said to be mulling pursuing hate crime charges against them as well, which could see the case elevated to a federal court.
Walker, who had also played football with Arbery at Brunswick High School, said his cousin always made him laugh at football games and practices and that the 25-year-old was the kid who was always smiling.
"He was a beautiful soul," he 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."
While Walker eventually went on to bigger things, first to play college football for Louisiana-Lafayette, and then, the Detroit Lions, he said he stayed close to Arbery and that they always caught up when he returned to Brunswick.
The last time the pair saw each other was in February, less than a month before the fatal shooting. Walker had gone home for the Super Bowl and to celebrate his 25th birthday.
Walker shared that they had gone out for a drink and that his cousin had told him how proud he was of him but told him to keep working harder even though he had nailed the starting safety last season.
"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," he 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."