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Sun, 02.23.2020

Ahmaud Arbery is Murdered

*On this date in 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was murdered. He was an unarmed 25-year-old black man murdered while jogging near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia.

Arbery had been pursued by three white residents—Travis McMichael and his father Gregory, who were armed and driving a pickup truck, and William "Roddie" Bryan, who followed Arbery in a second vehicle. Arbery was stopped, confronted, and fatally shot by Travis McMichael. The Glynn County Police Department (GCPD) said the Brunswick District Attorney's Office advised them on February 23 to make no arrests.

They arrested the McMichaels on May 7 and Bryan on May 21, charging them with felony murder and other crimes. On June 4, additional evidence was presented by the prosecutor to support the murder charges, including a statement to the GBI by William Bryan that Travis McMichael said "fucking nigger" as Arbery lay dying.

A grand jury subsequently indicted each of the three men on charges of malice murder, felony murder (four counts), aggravated assault (two counts), false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. In April 2021, all three men were indicted on federal charges of one count each of interference with rights (a hate crime) and one count each of attempted kidnapping, while the McMichaels were also charged with separate counts of using firearms during a crime of violence.

The fact that the McMichaels were not arrested until 74 days after the killing, after the video went viral, sparked debates on racial profiling in the United States. Numerous religious leaders, politicians, athletes, and other celebrities condemned the incident. The GCPD and the Brunswick District Attorney's Office were nationally criticized for their handling of the case and the delayed arrests; Georgia Attorney General Christopher M. Carr formally requested the intervention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the case on May 10, which was granted the following day.

On February 22, 2022, the McMichaels and Bryan were found guilty of all counts in their federal hate crimes trial A predominantly white jury reached a verdict in just over three hours. both McMichaels and Bryan were found guilty of violating Arbery's civil rights because of his race, as well as an attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels were also convicted of a federal firearms charge.

Reference:

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