There were cries in celebration and relief after three white men were found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a Black jogger who they chased in their trucks then shot and killed as he made his way through a suburban neighbourhood in Georgia in early 2020.
Reaction online was rapid with commentators and political figures quick to share their thoughts on the convictions of Gregory and Travis McMichael, and their neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan.
Georgia Democrat and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams took to Twitter, posting: “A jury believed the evidence of their eyes and saw the meanness in the killers’ hearts. May this verdict bring a small measure of peace to Ahmaud Arbery’s family and loved ones.”
She continued: “Nothing can ever assuage the loss of Ahmaud Arbery for his parents and loved ones, and the work of local organizers [and] the Brunswick community should not have been so vital to securing justice.”
Ms Abrams added: “Georgia must move forward on criminal justice reforms — not retreat.”
The Reverend Al Sharpton, speaking outside the court following the verdict, noted the landmark decision by the jury: “And let the word go forth all over the world, that a jury of 11 whites and one Black in the Deep South stood up in the courtroom and said that Black lives do matter.”
Before he spoke, demonstrators chanted with joy at the verdict: “What do we want? Justice! When did we get it? Today!”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp released a statement that read: “Ahmaud Arbery was the victim of a vigilantism that has no place in Georgia.”
He continued: “As legal efforts continue to hold accountable all who may be responsible, we hope the Arbery family, the Brunswick community, our state, and those around the nation who have been following his case can now move forward down a path of healing and reconciliation.”
Source Link Ahmaud Arbery: Jury ‘saw the meanness in the killers’ hearts’ says Stacey Abrams as three white men convicted of murder