A Georgia jury has found the three men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery guilty of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice.
The jury found Travis McMichael, 35, guilty of all charges. Greg McMichael, 65, was found not guilty of malice murder and guilty of the rest of his charges. William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, was found not guilty of malice murder, one count of felony murder, and one count of aggravated assault, but guilty of his other charges.
Cheers erupted in the Brunswick courthouse amid tears and hugs as the three men were found guilty. Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, silently prayed just before Judge Timothy Walmsley read the verdicts. “I never thought this day would come,” Cooper-Jones said outside the courthouse following the convictions, “but God is good.”
“With their verdict, the jury rejected the vestige of Jim Crow and the assertion of white supremacy that was at the center of this case,” Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement. “This is a vitally important step, brought about because of the determination of Ahmaud Arbery’s family and his community and the public protests.”
“Importantly, this movement led to the repeal of the citizen’s arrest law, and we must continue to work for racial equality in the state of Georgia,” she added.
Jesselyn McCurdy, executive vice president for government affairs at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in a statement that “today’s conviction is a bittersweet salve to the loved ones of Mr. Arbery and those of us who were horrified by his tragic murder.”
“Too often the bigoted assumptions of white supremacists are prioritized over the actual lives of Black people and other people of color across this country,” she continued. “Although nothing can bring Mr. Arbery back, we must dedicate ourselves to confronting the white supremacy that claimed Mr. Arbery’s life and defend communities targeted for hate to ensure no more lives are tragically lost to such senseless, racist violence.”
The three men convicted were immediately taken into custody of the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SLATE
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