US: Men Guilty Of Killing Unarmed Black Man Ahmaud Arbery
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy Need
(Worthy News) – A nearly all-white jury found three White men from the U.S. state of Georgia guilty of killing a young unarmed Black man in a case that tested racial bias in the American justice system.
The 25-year-old Black man Ahmaud Arbery was murdered after he was suspected of committing a series of break-ins near the coastal city of Brunswick in South Georgia.
The three defendants — Travis McMichael, 35; his father, Gregory McMichael, 65; and their neighbor William Bryan, 52 — chased him on February 23, 2020, prosecutors said.
The troubles began when Arbery, an avid runner, was jogging through the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Glynn County. The McMichaels spotted him and then pursued him in a Ford F-150 pickup.
Bryan later joined the chase, which the prosecutor claimed lasted five minutes, in his Chevy Silverado truck.
Travis McMichael approached Arbery with a shotgun and, after a brief struggle, fatally shot him, according to evidence shown during the trial.
All men, who still face federal hate crime charges, could now receive life in prison without parole, according to trial observers.
Travis McMichael was also convicted of malice murder, or intent to kill, adding to the severity of his sentence.
Arbery’s mother was seen weeping when the verdict came back after less than two days of deliberations. His father leaped from his seat to cheer.
Black fathers rushed to the courthouse with their sons, while lawmakers and civil rights leaders hailed justice even as they said it was hard-won.
For more than two months, Arbery’s family pushed for consequences in vain.
Then a leaked video of the killing thrust the case into the national spotlight.
The revelations also came weeks before George Floyd’s murder by a White police officer in Minneapolis ignited mass protests against perceived police brutality and racism.
“This is a very consequential day, not just for Ahmaud Arbery but for families all over America,” said Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights lawyer for Arbery’s family. Crump, who also represented the family of Floyd added: “We have to show that America must be better than what we saw in that video.”
A prosecutor initially found the defendants justified in killing Arbery, saying they carried out a “citizen’s arrest” for neighborhood break-ins when Travis McMichael shot in self-defense.
After new evidence emerged, the jury clearly disagreed. The case came days after the acquittal last week of Kyle Rittenhouse.
The White teenager successfully argued that he shot three White people — killing two — in self-defense.
He said he drove to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to help protect businesses when protests over the police shooting of a Black man turned into destructive riots.
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