Ahmaud Arbery murder: Convicted men now face hate crime charges Black Lives Matter News

A United States jury this week convicted Three white men for the murder of Ahmed Arbery, a black man who was chased and fatally shot while jogging in Georgia last year, welcomed some measure of justice for Arbery’s family. as was brought.

An 11-member jury found Wednesday in Brunswick, Georgia Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddy” Bryan plead guilty to the 25-year-old’s murder, among other charges.

“A jury considered evidence Saw the meanness in their eyes and in the hearts of the murderers. May this decision be a small measure of peace for the family and loved ones of #AhmaudArbery,” said Stacey Abrams, former governor of Georgia, said on Twitter.

Three men chase Arbery through the coastal community of Satilla Shores, outside Brunswick, on February 23, 2020, and kill him with a shotgun. They face life in prison, and a judge will decide whether it comes with or without the possibility of parole.

While the McMichaels and Brian are expected to appeal their convictions, they still face an upcoming federal trial in which they will face hate crimes charges.

have all three advocated The state pleaded not guilty this week in an entirely different case not affected by the outcome of the trial — and which a civil rights attorney representing the Arbery family has said has gotten to the “crux” of what he said. last chance to do so. a lynching.

“It was based on Ahmaud Arbery’s skin color,” Benjamin Crump said outside Glynn County Superior Court in Brunswick ahead of the verdict on Wednesday.

A graphic video of Arbery’s murder was leaked two months after three men chased and shot him in the largely white community.

It sparked massive public protests against anti-black racism and vigilantism, as well as calls for accountability, and prompted Georgia state officials to handle the case and eventually charge all three.

The federal indictment charged the three men with hate crimes, saying they violated Arbery’s civil rights by stalking and murdering him for being black, among other charges. It does not show what evidence prosecutors can present to convince the jury that racism played a role.

Arbery family hopes evidence Alleged use of racist language Travis McMichael, neither of whom was shown to a Glynn County jury, would eventually be considered by the justice system, Crump said.

In pre-trial motions, state prosecutors told the court they had evidence of “racial animosity” motivating the defendants. At a bond hearing, he said 35-year-old Travis McMichael had used racial slurs on social media and in a text message.

At a pre-trial hearing, an investigator overhears Brian saying he heard McMichael use a slur as he stood over Arbery’s body, although McMichael’s lawyers cast doubts about Brian’s credibility. expressed.

Prosecutors also decided against showing the jury the vanity license plate that young McMichael had affixed to his pick-up truck in 2020. The plate includes the old state flag of Georgia, which prominently features the Confederate war flag.

In recent years there has been debate across America about symbols, statues and monuments is linked to Confederacy, a group of 11 American Southern states that fought against the abolition of slavery in the 1860s.

A man reacts outside the Glynn County Courthouse after a jury reached a guilty verdict on Wednesday [Octavio Jones/Reuters]

Critics have said that such monuments are a Display of white supremacy, slavery and decades of institutional racism, while proponents argue they display Southern pride.

Aisha Bell Hardaway, Case Western Reserve University’s director of social justice, said, “You better believe a federal judge is willing to hear evidence of racial hostility, including specific text messages, when racial hostility is a key element of the charge.” ” The institute told Reuters news agency.

The US Justice Department said in a statement that there may have been some overlap in witnesses between the two cases, but they were otherwise independent of each other.

Lawyers representing the three people in the federal trial either declined or did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

US District Court Judge Lisa Godbe Wood has scheduled jury selection in a federal trial that begins February 7.


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