The Three men face life imprisonment after killing 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery
On February 23, 2020, an unarmed 25-year-old Black man Ahmaud Arbery was killed by three white Georgia men, who chased him down and shot him near Brunswick in Glynn County.
The three men, Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and their neighbour William Bryan, recorded the incident that shows McMichael and his father in their pickup truck following Arbery who was jogging on the side of the road. When the truck came to stop, Travis stepped out while holding his shotgun and approached Arbery who tried to defend himself and struggled with Travis over the shotgun. He then collapsed to the ground after being shot three times at point blank range.
According to investigators, Gregory who previously worked as an officer for the Glynn County Police Department (GCPD), was the first to initiate the chase after Arbery ran past his house and suspected him of committing a burglary in the neighbourhood, but without having any evidence of him doing so.
One of the most alarming facts, in this case, is that after murdering Arbery, the GCPD was advised by Brunswick District Attorney’s Office to not issue arrest warrants for the three men. It was only after 74 days due to the recording of the incident went viral, is when the three men were arrested. The fact it took that long, caused a huge controversy online and raised a lot of questions about the justice department’s integrity.
Yesterday, the jury in the case, reached a verdict after 12 hours of deliberation. They found the three men guilty of the following offences:
- Travis McMichael was found guilty of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault (with a firearm and with a pickup truck), false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony (false imprisonment).
- Gregory McMichael was found guilty of four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault (with a firearm and with a pickup truck), false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony (false imprisonment). He was found not guilty of malice murder.
- William “Roddie” Bryan was found guilty of three counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault (with a pickup truck), false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony (false imprisonment). He was found not guilty of malice murder, not guilty of one count of felony murder, and not guilty of one count of aggravated assault (with a firearm).
Both McMichaels and Bryan face up to life imprisonment. It’s quite absurd to feel a sense of relief after hearing the final verdict for this case, but it’s understandable. Considering the number of trials that ended with little to no punishment in hate crime cases committed by white people against African Americans. The continuous mistreatment and discrimination by the justice system in America toward Black people need to be permanently changed.