Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Arbery

Eric Terrell, vice president of the National Action Network, holds a banner with photos of William Roddie Bryan, Travis McMichael, Greg McMichal and former Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson outside the Glynn County Courthouse as the jury deliberates in the trial of the killers of Ahmaud Arbery on November 24, 2021 in Brunswick, Georgia. (Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty: Jury Convicts All 3 Assailants for Ahmaud Arbery Murder

"With their verdict, the jury rejected the vestige of Jim Crow and the assertion of white supremacy that was at the center of this case."

Brett Wilkins

This is a breaking story… Please check back for possible updates...

A Georgia jury on Wednesday found three men guilty as charged for the 2020 murder of unarmed Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery.

"A jury with only one Black juror, even with racial dog whistles from defense counsel, recognized and honored Ahmaud Arbery's humanity."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the nearly all-white jury convicted Gregory McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr.—who recorded video of the fatal encounter—of 23 charges.

Cheers erupted in the Brunswick courthouse amid tears and hugs as the three men were found guilty. Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, silently prayed just before Judge Timothy Walmsley read the verdicts.

"I never thought this day would come," Cooper-Jones said outside the courthouse following the convictions, "but God is good."

"With their verdict, the jury rejected the vestige of Jim Crow and the assertion of white supremacy that was at the center of this case," Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement. "This is a vitally important step, brought about because of the determination of Ahmaud Arbery's family and his community and the public protests."

"Importantly, this movement led to the repeal of the citizen's arrest law, and we must continue to work for racial equality in the state of Georgia," she added.

Jesselyn McCurdy, executive vice president for government affairs at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in a statement that "today's conviction is a bittersweet salve to the loved ones of Mr. Arbery and those of us who were horrified by his tragic murder."

"Too often the bigoted assumptions of white supremacists are prioritized over the actual lives of Black people and other people of color across this country," she continued. "Although nothing can bring Mr. Arbery back, we must dedicate ourselves to confronting the white supremacy that claimed Mr. Arbery's life and defend communities targeted for hate to ensure no more lives are tragically lost to such senseless, racist violence."

Travis McMichael was found guilty of all nine charges against him—which included malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated assault—while his father was convicted on eight of the nine charges. Bryan was found guilty of six of the nine charges he faced.

"A jury with only one Black juror, even with racial dog whistles from defense counsel, recognized and honored Ahmaud Arbery's humanity as much as it punished his murderers for their depravity," Damon Hewett, president and executive director with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said in a statement. "The jurors sent a signal about accountability for the racist violence and harassment that inherently ignores the humanity of Black people."

The three men convicted were immediately taken into custody of the Glynn County Sheriff's Office.

Arbery was running in the Satilla Shores neighborhood of Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020 when he was confronted by the McMichaels—who claimed they thought the unarmed man may have committed a burglary—and shot by the son as Bryan recorded the attack. There is no evidence that Arbery committed any crime.

According to Bryan, Travis McMichael called Arbery a "fucking nigger" as he lay dying.

After being briefly questioned by police, the three killers were allowed to go free for 74 days. Meanwhile, Waycross District Attorney George E. Barnhill defended the murder as an act of "justifiable homicide" under Georgia's "stand your ground" law. Outraged critics called Arbery's slaying a "modern-day lynching."

In April, the McMichaels and Bryan were charged with federal hate crimes in connection with Arbery's killing.

Cooper-Jones said that her son "will now rest in peace."

"It's been a long fight. It's been a hard fight," she said outside the courthouse. "To tell you the truth, I never saw this day back in 2020."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

US Must Tackle Marine Plastics Pollution 'From Source to Sea': Report

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study found that the U.S. is responsible for about a quarter of the plastics that enter the world's oceans each year.

Brett Wilkins ·


First US Omicron Case Confirmed as WHO Chief Decries Failure to Share Vaccines Globally

Factors including low vaccine coverage have created "a recipe for breeding and amplifying variants," the top health official said.

Andrea Germanos ·


Since Congress Lifted Crude Export Ban in 2015, US Has Dropped 'Climate Bomb' on World

Oil and gas exports from the Gulf Coast have surged by nearly 600%, and fossil fuel production in the Permian Basin has grown by 135%.

Kenny Stancil ·


Marking World AIDS Day, Campaigners Warn 'History Is Repeating Itself With Covid'

"In Africa alone, it's estimated up to 12 million people died needlessly in the time it took to make HIV treatment universally available. We cannot allow it to happen again with Covid-19."

Jake Johnson ·


Poll: Majority of Young Americans Say US Democracy 'in Trouble' or Already 'Failed'

"After turning out in record numbers in 2020, young Americans are sounding the alarm."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo