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Jay Z, Alicia Keys and others demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery in open letter

(CNN) Musicians Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Meek Mill and Yo Gotti released a letter to state officials on Sunday demanding swift justice for Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was shot and killed in south Georgia in February.

"As a society we can no longer pretend that the racial inequities, which exist in every facet of our lives, don't invariably lead down the path to poverty, violence and death," says the letter, addressed to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, state Attorney General Chris Carr and the current prosecutor, Tom Durden, district attorney of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit.

"To even think about breaking this cycle we need you to protect the process and preserve the fairness of the trial," it says.

The case has drawn nationwide attention in the past week after the release of a video that appeared to show the killing.

Outrage built further because the suspects, who are white, had not been arrested and charged more than two months after Arbery, a black man, was killed.

The letter, published in Sunday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a paid ad, was released by the social justice arm of Jay-Z's entertainment agency, Roc Nation. Attorneys Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump, who represent members of Arbery's family, also signed it.

The suspects -- father and son Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34 -- were arrested Thursday and charged with murder and aggravated assault, "a positive step on the long road toward justice," the letter says.

"But it only strengthens our resolve to see that justice is eventually served," it adds.

The letter demands additional steps. The officials, it says, should ensure a fair trial and prosecutors should also charge a third man who filmed the shooting as an accomplice.

The man, William "Roddie" Bryan, shared the 36-second video with police after the shooting, according to his attorney. Bryan did not act in conjunction with the McMichaels on the day of the shooting, attorney Kevin Gough told CNN, adding that any implication his client was a vigilante is inaccurate.

The letter goes on to demand that Durden, the third prosecutor to oversee the case, recuse himself because Gregory McMichael is a former police officer -- "a clear conflict of interest," according to the letter.

McMichael is a former investigator in the office of Jackie Johnson, district attorney for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit. Johnson said in a statement sent to CNN on Saturday that her office recused itself early on in the case due to a conflict of interest.

Additionally, the letter calls on Carr to appoint a special prosecutor to "preserve the rule of law and the pursuit of justice."

"If anybody saw that horrifying video of his killing, it is heartbreaking, unbelievably unacceptable and inhumane. No human being should be murdered and not receive justice," Alicia Keys said in a statement.

The musicians and attorneys weren't the only ones Sunday expressing disappointment with the case's handling.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN she believes no arrests would have been made without the video that surfaced.

"I think that's absolutely the reason that they were charged," Bottoms said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"And it's heartbreaking," she added, "that it's 2020 and this was a lynching of an African American man."

CNN's Lisa Respers France contributed to this report.