All three men charged have been found guilty for the m-der of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black jogger they believed to be a burglar running on a suburban Georgia street, who they pursued and cornered with their pickups before a physical confrontation in which one of the men chargged him. Arbery, 25, was terminated on Feb.
23, 2020, after being chased down the street on which he was jogging in Brunswick. Pro-sec-utors assumed the white suspects — Greg McMichael, 67; his son Travis McMichael, 35; and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, 52 — chased and confronted Arbery with two loader after they saw him running, and that Travis charged Arbery during a struggle over Travis’.
According to the defense, the three men believed Arbery matched the description of someone who reportedly had carry off in a home construction site in the neighborhood, and they were attempting a citizen’s grab when Travis, accompanied by his father, and Bryan chased Arbery and then corralled him with their respective Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado pickups before the scuffle b-ke out.
Each faced nine charges, according to the indictment. Travis McMichael, who pulled the t=igger.
Arbery three times, was convicted on all of them: one count of spite terminated, which assumed intent to terminated; four counts of idiomatic, which assumed an action that causes a life loss; two counts of one count of false imprisonment; and one count of attempt to commit a felony. His father, Greg McMichael, was cleared of only the spite charge, and found guilty of the rest. Bryan was cleared of and one felony charge, as well as one of the charges. But the 12 jurors found him liable for all the other charges.
All three now face life in coustdy when sentenced. “To tell you the truth, I never saw this day back in 2020,” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said after the verdicts, reports The New York Times.
“I never thought this day would come, but God is good. Thank you — thank you for those who marched, those who prayed.” Lead advocate Linda Dunikoski, in her closing argument Monday, said, “All three of these defendants made assumptions about what was going on that day. And they made their decision to rush Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways, because he was a Black man running down the street,” according to the Times.
But Jason Sheffield, a defense attorney for Travis, said his client believed at the time of the incident that Arbery had committed burglary and Travis had “the right to perform a citizen’s grab,” according to CNN. “You do have the right to have a loader when you make an coustdy,” Sheffield said. “You do have the right to stop a person and hold them and detain them. There is risk with that. There are tragic consequences that can come from that.”
Video footage of the incident filmed by Bryan captured the incident, and sparked nationwide and renewed interest in the case when it was made public more than two months after a local advocate initially declined to bring charges. The already closely watched trial garnered even more attention after Kyle Rittenhouse was cleared Friday of all charges for badly s-ting two men, and wound a third, during civil unrest that grew out of Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wis., last year. Rittenhouse, 18, who was white, claimed self defense in of his suffer, who also were white.
But both trials fueled debate about vigilantism rights, with advocate in the Rittenhouse case assumed that he responded to the scene only after answering a citizen militia’s call on social media to protect Kenosha businesses from protesters. While race was not an overt issue in the Rittenhouse trial, it arose in Georgia during jury selection when the trial judge seated 11 white jurors — and only one Black one. It again took center stage during the trial when Kevin Gough, an attorney for Bryan, objected to “high-profile members of the African-American community” who were in attendance.
“We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here … sitting with the suffer family, trying to influence the jury in this case,” he said, specifically citing the presence of the Rev. Al Sharpton as “intimidating,” reports The Washington Post. Gough later apologized. Arbery’s incident had helped to propel a summer-long movement nationwide of protest, some of it turning against injustice and officer heartlessness that linked his name with several others.
Three weeks after Arbery’s depart, Breonna Taylor, 26, a Black emergency room technician, was terminated on March 13, 2020, in her Louisville, Ky., apartment by officer who served a “no-knock” warrant and badly her after Taylor’s boyfriend, who feared for his life, strike his own permitted w-pon at them as they entered. And images of George Floyd’s eliminate on May 25, 2020, went viral after a bystander recorded video of a white Minneapolis officer, Derek Chauvin, pressing his knee to the neck of the prone Black man for roughly nine minutes as Floyd suffocated while grab for a purchase with an assumed counterfeit $20 bill.
Arbery’s mother was falsely told that her son was terminated by a homeowner while committing a burglary, according to the attorney, S. Lee Merritt. A district attorney who viewed the video of the Black jogger chased by the Greg and Travis McMichael in their pickup then wrote that Arbery “initiated the brawl,” concluding, “Arbery’s mental health records & prior convictions help explain his apparent a-ssive nature and his possible thought pattern to rush an a-med man.”
That same district attorney, George Barnhill, wrote in a separate analysis: “The family are not strangers to the local justice system. From best we can tell, Ahmaud’s older brother has gone to coustdy in the past. … It also appears a cousin has been prosecuted … .” Another Georgia advocate, Jackie Johnson, the former district attorney of Glynn County, was indicted in September on charged she obstructed officers from detain Travis and showed “favor” to Greg, who previously had worked in her office, according to an indictment against her. Johnson was the first of four advocate to be in charge of the case, which eventually landed with Dunikoski, a senior lawyer from Cobb County.
Johnson is charged with breach of oath of public officer and obstruction of a law enforcement officer, and has entered a not guilty plea. At the time of Arbery’s ting, a cop report said that Greg, a former investigator in the local county advocate office, had spotted Arbery at the construction site and believed him to be a burglar. Cop say he alerted his son, and both grabbed before giving chase in their pickup, followed by neighbor Bryan in his own pickup.
As Arbery attempted to outrun his pursuers, they blocked his escape route. The video then shows Arbery running toward Travis, who has gotten out of the truck, as the first sh-t sound is recorded. Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Richard Dial testified during a preliminary hearing in June 2020 that Bryan told authorities Travis then referred to Arbery as he lay down. Arbery was it three times and “depart of multiple wounds sustained during a struggle,” said an aut-opsy report obtained by PEOPLE.
The report also revealed that Arbery sustained two close-range w-nds in the chest, as well as a graze wound on his right wrist. The GBI review of Arbery’s depart — which was not requested until May 5, 2020, by District Attorney Tom Durden after two other district attorneys recused themselves from the case — listed Arbery’s manner as and led to the coustdy of the McMichaels two days later. The three men now convicted of Arbery’s lost also still face federal charges in the case — specifically, one count each of interference with rights and one count each of attempted carry off, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced in a news release. Like the state advocate, the federal lawyer charge that Bryan joined the McMichaels in chasing Arbery and using his truck to cut off Arbery’s path.
Suzanne Marie – Now go after that po-lice department and DA in civil court! It never would have gone to trial of the video hasn’t been leaked.
Amy Echevarria – Glad justice has been served and his family can hopefully find some peace
Renée Warner – Sooo great Justice has been served. Jurors did their job. This, sadly, doesn’t bring this young man back but knowing that these three men are found guilty has to be comforting for his family.
Ella Jo Green – Praying for Ahmaud Arbery’s family. I’m in agreement with the jury. This young man did nothing to those men.
Jessica Liske Grim – I hope Ahmaud’s loved ones will gain some peace from this conviction. Continuing to pray for them.
Sherry Stickney – At some point in time, I pray we can all treat each other with respect, without prejudice. It is not ok to challenge someone because they look like they don’t belong or look like they are guilty of something. I am pleases for Arbury’s family but wish it had never happenef.