Twelve Georgia jurors Wednesday convicted three men of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in the Glynn County Superior Court. Arbery, a 25-year old Black man, was out jogging in February 2020 when Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan followed him in pickup trucks and shot him multiple times.
While Arbery was murdered on February 23, Georgia state police did not arrest either Greg or Travis McMichael until May 7, ten weeks later.
The men were indicted earlier this year on nine counts of murder and assault. Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley read out the verdicts against each of the three men. The jury found Travis McMichael guilty on all nine counts. Greg McMichael and Bryan were found not guilty of one count of malice murder, and Bryan was also found not guilty of one count of felony murder and one count of aggravated assault. The jury made up of 11 white jurors and 1 black juror, came to its decision in about one day.
Arbery’s murder, along with the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, sparked an increase in Black Lives Matter protests across the country and the globe. While the public believed the McMichaels and Bryan were racially motivated in killing Arbery, the Georgia case did not cover any race-related evidence. However, all three men were also indicted on federal hate crimes charges in April of this year.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper, also filed a separate civil lawsuit earlier this year against the three men, the Glynn County Police Department, and the District Attorney’s office, alleging that their actions violated her son’s civil rights.
President Joe Biden made a statement following the verdict, saying that “while the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough. Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the color of their skin.”