This week begins the legal reckoning for the three White men who terrorized and killed Ahmaud Arbery, an innocent Black man going for an evening jog in Georgia in February 2020. Despite the fact that Mr. Arbery’s murder was captured on cell phone, the three men maintain their innocence.
Jury selection started on Monday for father and son duo Gregory and Travis McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. The trio are charged with felony murder, malice, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
All three have pleaded not guilty.
White men hunted down Arbery
The McMichaels have stated they were performing a citizen’s arrest on Mr. Arbery, who they claimed was a burglary suspect. Mr. Bryan unceremoniously drove his truck into Mr. Arbery, and Travis McMichael shot the innocent Black man with a shotgun. All three men also attempted to capture Mr. Arbery, who tried in vain to escape the murderous gang.
Travis McMichael claims he shot Mr. Arbery in self-defense.
Ahmaud Arbery was a former high school athlete and beloved member of his family. His sister, Jasmine Arbery, recently received a master degree in clinical mental health counseling, which she dedicated to her late brother.
Murder trial begins in 2022
Following her degree, Ms. Arbery wrote on instagram: “A journey is not great unless you find what you seek. My journey was filled with many challenges that included working two jobs, a natural disaster, the tragic loss of my brother, a pandemic, giving birth, anxiety, grief, and issues with my financial aid. But I am proud to say those challenges equal the factors that will make me an excellent therapist. I have the opportunity to offer support based on real-life experiences.”
Mr. Arbery’s murder set off a spate of Black Lives Matter protests in support of racial justice and equity in 2020, a year which also saw the murders of other innocent Black people, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. “Here we are in the South and we witnessed a lynching,” Bobby Henderson, co-founder of the grassroots group A Better Glynn, told NPR. “How far are we from 1892? That’s what’s on the line.”
The murder trial will officially begin in 2022.