Ahmaud Arbery verdict: three white men convicted of murdering black jogger in Georgia

Three white men have been convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a black jogger they chased in their trucks before being shot while driving through a suburban Georgia neighborhood last February.

The shooting, along with the murder of George Floyd last May by police in Minneapolis, helped inspire mass protests against racial injustice in 2020.

Inside the courtroom, the Arbery family jumped, clapped and shouted for joy when the verdict was announced. They compared Ahmaud’s murder to a “modern lynching. “

They addressed the public from the steps of the courthouse later in the day.

Ahmaud’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said: “I never thought that day would come – but God is good.”

“I don’t want to see any daddy watching their child get lynched and shot like that … Today is a good day,” added Marcus Arbery, Ahmaud’s dad. Public officials and activists in Georgia and beyond celebrated the decision as a milestone for civil rights and a sign that more remains to be done.

“Nothing can ever appease the loss of Ahmaud Arbery for his parents and relatives, and the work of local organizers [and] the community of Brunswick should not have been so vital to ensuring justice, ”Georgia-based suffrage activist Stacey Abrams wrote on Wednesday, adding:“ Georgia must move forward with reforms to the criminal justice, not back down ”.

After pursuing Mr. Arbery, 25, through the community of Satilla Shores, near Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23 of last year. They pleaded not guilty to all counts.

The 12-person jury, 11 of whom are Caucasian, began its deliberations Tuesday in Glynn County, Ga., And considered the charges for more than 10 hours, before rendering a varied final decision.

Travis McMichael, the man who shot Mr. Arbery, was convicted of all nine counts.

Gregory McMichael, who was traveling in the same truck as his son Travis, where the men were armed with pistols and shotguns, was found not guilty of malicious murder but guilty of all other counts .

Bryan, their neighbor, who joined the chase in his own truck and videotaped the encounter on his phone, was found not guilty of malicious murder and one count of murder, while being convicted of three other counts of murder and three other counts. .

The trio left after Mr Arbery claimed to have attempted to arrest a citizen because they believed he was responsible for a number of recent break-ins in the neighborhood. During the trial, it was revealed that contrary to their claims, the McMichaels in fact knew that Mr. Arbery was not charged with any crime.

“I don’t think the guy actually stole anything there,” Gregory McMichael told investigators after the shooting, referring to a house under construction in the area, where Mr. Arbery was filmed by police officers. security cameras roaming the park.

Police warned the men before the shooting that Mr. Arbery was not charged with taking anything from the house. There were also no reported break-ins in the area in the seven weeks leading up to Mr. Arbery’s murder.

More details to come in this breaking news …

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