A federal jury has found three White men guilty of committing a hate crime and other violations when they chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery two years ago, determining they were motivated by racial animus because he was Black.
The trial focused on a history of racist and offensive statements from Gregory McMichael, 66, Travis McMichael, 36, and William “Roddie” Bryan, 52.
Tuesday’s conviction, after just a couple of hours of jury deliberation, represents a victory for the U.S. Department of Justice, which has vowed to more aggressively prosecute hate crimes, and for civil rights groups that have demanded greater accountability in racially motivated attacks against Blacks and other minorities.
According to Axios:
Prosecutors argued that “pent-up racial anger” motivated the men to chase down and shoot Arbery.
- They presented nearly two dozen racist messages and social media posts, including Travis McMichael’s regular reference to Black people as “savages” and “monkeys”
- Defense attorneys argued the three men did not chase and kill Arbery because of his race.
- The jury in the hate crimes trial included eight white people, three Black people and one Hispanic person.