Finally, Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
Justice is served for Ahmaud Arbery as the Georgia jury claims all three white men guilty of Arbery’s murder.
After Arbery’s tragic death in February 2020, the road to justice was long and winding as the case faced many adversities. Starting with Georgia’s former law allowing for “citizen’s arrest,” which gives an individual the authority to detain someone if seen committing a severe crime and attempting to escape. As a result, this law almost justified McMichael’s unlawful detainment of Arbery.
Furthermore, the jury consisted of 11 White jurors and only 1 Black juror, complaining that Arbery had too many connections to the potential Black jurors. Judge Walmsley of Arbery’s case refused to chime in as he explained his powerlessness to stop the discriminatory selection process due to justifications from the defense attorneys.
The court has ruled Travis McMichael guilty of all nine charges of malice murder and felony murder. Travis’ father, Gregory McMichael, was also convicted of felony murder counts but not found guilty of malice. Their partnering neighbor, William Bryan, was also found guilty of three counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, criminal intent, and false imprisonment.
As the verdicts were released, a crowd outside the courthouse erupted in cheers, and inside, the Arbery family shared tears and hugs as their son was finally able to rest in peace and justice.
President Biden shares a statement saying, “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. Mr. Arbery should be here today, celebrating the holidays with his mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, and Marcus Arbery. While the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough. My administration will continue to do the hard work to ensure that equal justice under law is not just a phrased emblazoned in stone above the Supreme Court, but a reality for all Americans.”
Arbery’s mother, who worked tirelessly with activists and lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski, commented, “It’s been a long fight, it’s been a hard fight, but God is good. I never thought this day would come.” Dunikoski, who was praised for her poise in the courtroom despite the difficult situations, added that justice was only found for Arbery through team effort. She also emphasizes that the verdict was based on the evidence and facts of the case.
“To tell you the truth I never saw this day … I never thought this day would come.”— Jamal Andress (@JamalAndress) November 24, 2021
– Wanda Cooper-Jones, Ahmaud Arbery’s mother. pic.twitter.com/cpHWNYSNNs
Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist and founder of National Action Network, closes final statements outside the court with, “Their son will go down in history as pent hat proved that if you hold on justice will come.”
Indeed it was a long fight, but it was also a historical moment that brought together people of all races to fight for the justice of Arbery. Journalists, lawyers, and citizens came together, despite their cultural differences, and brought video evidence for the case, created proactive actions to take, and provided immense support for Arbery and his family. Let this be an example of justice well served for the other cases still being debated.