WORLD / AMERICAS
3 white men found guilty of killing black
Fatal shooting adds fuel to 2020’s protests against racial injustice
Published: Nov 25, 2021 05:43 PM
A firecracker thrown by protesters explodes under police one block from the White House on Saturday local time in Washington DC during a demonstration against police brutality in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old African-American man who died on May 25 evening in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Clashes broke out and major cities imposed curfews as the US began another night of unrest Sunday with demonstrators ignoring warnings from President Donald Trump that his government would stop violent protests

A firecracker thrown by protesters explodes under police one block from the White House on Saturday local time in Washington DC during a demonstration against police brutality in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old African-American man who died on May 25 evening in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Clashes broke out and major cities imposed curfews as the US began another night of unrest Sunday with demonstrators ignoring warnings from President Donald Trump that his government would stop violent protests "cold." Photo: AFP

Three white men were found guilty of murder Wednesday for shooting dead an African-American man after chasing him in their pickup trucks, following a racially charged trial in the southern US state of Georgia that gripped the nation.

Travis McMichael, who shot Ahmaud Arbery, his father Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, who took part in the chase, were all convicted of multiple counts of murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

A predominantly-white jury in Brunswick, Georgia, deliberated for less than 12 hours over two days before delivering their verdicts. 

Travis McMichael, 35, Gregory McMichael, 65, a retired police officer, and Bryan, 52, face potential life in prison for the February 2020 shooting of the 25-year-old Arbery.

A crowd erupted in cheers outside the courthouse as the verdict was announced, chanting: "Say his name. Ahmaud Arbery!" 

"Today is a good day," Arbery's father, Marcus, told the gathering. "I don't want to see no daddy watch their kid get lynched and shot down like that."

President Joe Biden hailed the verdict but said "hard work" remains in combating racism in America.

"Ahmaud Arbery's killing - witnessed by the world on video - is a devastating reminder of how far we have to go in the fight for racial justice in this country," Biden said. 

The Reverend Al Sharpton, who attended the trial along with Jesse Jackson, another prominent civil rights leader, also welcomed the verdict.

"Let the word go forth all over the world that a jury of 11 white, one black, in the Deep South, stood up in the courtroom and said, 'Black lives do matter,'" Sharpton said in a statement.

There was only one black juror on the panel that heard the case, although about 25 percent of the 85,000 residents of Glynn County are black.

"The spirit of Ahmaud defeated a lynch mob," said Ben Crump, an attorney for Arbery's father.

Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said she "never thought this day would come."

"But God is good. Thank you for those who marched, for those who prayed," she said.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, said Arbery was "the victim of a vigilantism that has no place in Georgia" and called for "healing and reconciliation."

A graphic video of the shooting of the unarmed Arbery went viral on social media and added fuel to 2020's protests against racial injustice sparked by the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, by a white police officer in Minnesota.

AFP
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