A popular jury has found three white men guilty of the murder of Ahmad Arbery, a 25-year-old black citizen believed to be a robber, and shot to death while doing sports in his South Georgia neighborhood in February 2020.
The culprits, who are awaiting sentencing, are Gregory McMichael, 65, his son, Travis McMichael, 35, and a neighbor, William Bryan Jr., 52. All three, who could face life sentences, chased Arbery in their trucks before the second of them shot him dead.
“We have won over that mob of lynching,” the father of the murdered young man, Marcus Arbery, celebrated the verdict. “All lives matter, not just those of black children, we don’t want anyone to go through this. I would not like to see any parent see how they lynch and shoot their children in that way, “he said.
«Love everyone. All human beings must be treated equally. We are going to end these lynchings. Today is a good day, “he celebrated as he left the court, where family members, protesters, and important representatives of the African-American community and civil rights gathered.
Travis McMichael, the perpetrator of the shots that killed Arbery, has been found guilty of all nine charges that were brought against him, including first-degree murder and four others of murder.
His father, Gregory McMichael, has been found guilty of all counts, except for first-degree murder, although the other four counts of murder can also lead to life in prison.
The third, William Bryan Jr., has been convicted of six of the nine charges that he also dragged, among which there are three of murder that can lead to his entry into prison permanently.
The jury made up of eleven white people and one black person, took less than two days to make the decision. The defendants have alleged that they were trying to carry out a citizen’s arrest after accusing Arbery without evidence that he was responsible for a series of robberies that had occurred in the neighborhood.
The defense maintained that Travis McMichael fired in self-defense and that the three were protected by archaic Georgia legislation dating from the American Civil War – repealed six months ago but in force when the murder occurred – under which the Citizens can proceed to carry out an arrest if there is a “reasonable doubt” about the suspect.
The verdict came less than a week after a jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin, found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty, who in August last year killed two people and injured a third during the riots that followed. protests of police violence against the black community.
Biden celebrates the verdict
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has reacted to the verdict by recalling that “Arbery should be here” with his family, which at least has found justice with the court’s decision to punish the three responsible for this “horrible crime”.
“While the guilty verdict reflects that our justice system is doing its job, that alone is not enough. Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and strength, where no one is afraid of the color of their skin, “Biden remarked in a statement.
For her part, the vice president, Kamala Harris, has pointed out that this type of verdicts “send an important message” to society, but has regretted the defense strategy, which tried to “dehumanize” Arbery “with racist allegories, although it has celebrated that the jury did not fall