This Time, There is Justice: Ahmaud Arbery Killers Convicted

Photo provided by: NY Times

Photo provided by: NY Times

Sarah Ireland

In February of 2020 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was murdered. His trial wrapped up this week leaving three men guilty of 23 of 27 charges and Ahmud with justice. 

When Arbery was killed, there were zero justifiable reasons. He had simply been running, as he did on a daily basis, when Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan saw him and decided they were going to end his life. “The McMichaels grabbed guns and jumped in a pickup truck to pursue the 25-year-old Arbery after seeing him running outside the Georgia port city of Brunswick. Bryan joined the pursuit in his own pickup and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael fatally shooting Arbery, ” reports apnews. While the father-son duo claimed that they thought Arbery was fleeing from committing a crime, the prosecution repeatedly stated and proved that there was no reason for them to believe such an event was occurring. 

After Arberys death, the video Bryan took went viral and sparked outrage across the country, and provided yet another example of the horrendous way African Americans are treated, not just by the police, in the United States. The video made it into the media as the trial was taking place and provided real traction for Arbery’s case. 

A major concern after the video was leaked was whether or not Arbery would get justice, seeing as so many others with similar circumstances sadly did not. The jury on this trial was made of eleven white Americans and one African American. Seeing as the trial took place in the deep South, much concern arose on whether the verdict would be fair or not. 

After weeks of trial and fighting tooth and nail, the jury finally came to a conclusion, one that everyone was on the edge of their seats to hear. “Travis McMichael, 35, stood for the verdict, his lawyer’s arm around his shoulder. At one point, he lowered his head to his chest. After the verdicts were read, as he stood to leave, he mouthed “love you” to his mother in the courtroom gallery. Greg McMichael, 65, hung his head when the judge read his first guilty verdict. Bryan, 52, bit his lip” reported apnews. All three defendants now await their sentencing hearing to find out whether they will have the chance of parole.  

Reactions from Arberys parents were excited and relieved as they heard justice being served for their son. Arbery’s father had to leave the courtroom after leaping up and shouting as the first verdict was read aloud. At the reading of the last criminal count, Arbery’s mother dropped her head and quietly pumped her fists. She then thanked the crowd gathered for the verdict and said she did not think she would see this day. Stating, “It’s been a long fight. It’s been a hard fight. But God is good,” she said, adding that her son would now rest in peace. Many believe that this trial told the world that the America is beginning to understand and proclaim, Black Lives Do Matter.