The three white men who pursued and killed Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man jogging through their Georgia neighbourhood last year, were all convicted of murder.
A whoop rang out in the courtroom as the judge read the first guilty verdict. “Long time coming,” the person, later identified as Arbery’s father, Marcus, said as the judge escorted him out of the courtroom.
“It’s been a long fight, it’s been a hard fight, but God is good,” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said Wednesday outside the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga. “I never thought this day would come,” she added, saying her son will now “rest in peace.”
Greg McMichael, 65, and Travis McMichael, 35, as well as their neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, were all charged in Georgia state court with the same nine criminal counts: one count of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of criminal attempt to commit a felony. They pled not guilty to all charges.
Arbery’s father, Marcus said: “Long time coming,” after the first guilty verdict. For that, he was expelled from the courtroom.
Jurors found all three men guilty on nearly all of the charges levelled against them. Travis McMichael was acquitted on all nine counts. Bryan was found not guilty of one count of malice murder, while Greg McMichael was found not guilty of one count of felony murder and one count of aggravated assault.
OUTRAGE AT KILLING
On Feb. 23, 2020, Arbery, an avid runner, was jogging through the Satilla Shores neighbourhood in Glynn County when the McMichaels spotted him and pursued him in a Ford F-150 pickup. Bryan later joined the chase, which lasted five minutes, according to the prosecutor, in his Chevy Silverado truck. Travis McMichael approached Arbery with a shotgun and fatally shot him after a brief struggle.
One of the accused captured a video of the final moments of the confrontation while assisting in the pursuit of Arbery.
After nearly three months of no arrests, this graphic video began circulating online in early May 2020.
Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, claims that local law enforcement officials failed to conduct an immediate and meaningful investigation into the killing, and she accuses the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office of colluding in a cover-up. She mentioned that Greg McMichael is a former police officer who also worked for the district attorney’s office.