The trial of the murder of the black man Ahmaud Arbery has come to an end in the US state of Georgia. It didn’t take the jury long to find her guilty verdict.
In the trial of the death of the black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in the US state of Georgia, the three white defendants have been convicted of murder. The jury found 35-year-old gunman Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and their neighbor William Bryan guilty of murder and other charges, the judge announced. The three men are now facing life imprisonment. The exact sentence will be determined at a later date.
After the convictions, cheers broke out outside the Brunswick City Courthouse, where anti-racism protesters had gathered. The people shouted, “Say his name – Ahmaud Arbery.” “It was an uphill battle,” said Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, outside the courthouse. Well-known civil rights activist Al Sharpton said the guilty verdicts show that “the lives of blacks matter”. Black Lives Matter is the motto of protests against racism and police violence against black people in the United States.
Videos show the murder of Ahmaud Arbery
Arbery’s death, captured on video, had caused outrage and headlines last year. The now convicted men had chased the African American in a suburb of Brunswick with two cars on February 23, 2020 and shot him after a scuffle. They believed the 25-year-old jogger was a burglar and cited a Georgia law at the time that allowed citizens to arrest suspects.
A video recorded by Bryan shows how the McMichaels block the path of the running Arbery with their pickup truck. An argument breaks out between Travis McMichael, who is armed with a rifle, and Arbery. The African American is then hit by several gunshots to the ground. Travis McMichael later protested in court that he acted in self-defense because Arbery attacked him.
The jury decides quickly in the case of Ahmaud Arbery
The case was politically charged: Arbery’s death – along in particular with the death of the black George Floyd in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis – led to the nationwide anti-racism protests that kept the United States in suspense in the summer of 2020. There was outrage that the judiciary only became active against the three white men when the video of the incident became public months later. Most recently, there was criticism that there was only one black juror on the twelve-person jury.
The jury began its deliberations on Tuesday. They pronounced the guilty verdict after almost twelve hours of deliberations.
The trial ended a few days after the controversial one Acquittal for 18 year old Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha in the state of Wisconsin. Rittenhouse, who shot two demonstrators and seriously injured a third on the sidelines of anti-racism protests in August 2020, was acquitted on all charges on Friday. His lawyers had successfully pleaded self-defense in court.