A jury has found Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers guilty of a federal hate crime.
The three white men convicted in Arbery’s murder, Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and their neighbor William Bryan were all found guilty in a federal court on Tuesday (February 22) for their racially motivated pursuit of Arbery.
Arbery was shot fatally in February 2020 after being pursued by the three men during his routine jog in the Satilla Shores section of Brunswick, Georgia. The father and son, armed with a shotgun, followed Arbery after he briefly stopped his jog to view an unfinished home along his route. News of his murder would not reach the public until May of 2020, shortly following the murder of George Floyd.
Both Arbery and Floyd’s murders sparked racial unrest within the U.S. in 2020 facilitated by the Black Lives Matter Movement. The unrest served as a catalyst for cultural reckoning domestically and internationally with every country in the world participating in protests against the systemic institution of racism against Black people not just in America, but across the globe.
The three men were charged with attempted kidnapping and violating Arbery’s civil rights. The McMichaels received an additional charge for the use of a firearm to commit a crime.
To properly be convicted of a hate crime, prosecutors had to prove that all three defendants targeted Arbery specifically because he was Black. Prosecutors received testimonies from witnesses revealing how all three defendants spoke privately and publicly about Black people using racial slurs.
“It’s another milestone, another challenge that we’ve overcome. Today is Super Tuesday. We got a guilty verdict on all charges for all murderers.” said Arbery’s mother following the jury’s announcement. “As a mother, I will never heal. They gave us a small sense of victory, but we will never get [the] victory because Ahmaud is dead.”
The McMichael’s and Bryan were convicted in Arbery’s murder last year and sentenced to life in prison in January.
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