x
Breaking News
More () »

Reactions pour in following jury verdict in Ahmaud Arbery death trial

The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of Ahmaud Arbery's death. Now, public figures and organizations are offering their thoughts on the decision.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — From malice murder to felony murder, all three men on trial for the death of Ahmaud Arbery's death have been convicted on multiple charges following a jury verdict early Wednesday afternoon. After the verdict was read, public figures and organizations shared their thoughts on the decision.

President Joe Biden issued an official statement on the verdict, calling Ahmaud Arbery's killing a "devastating reminder."

"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 his father, Marcus Arbery. Nothing can bring Mr. Arbery back to his family and to his community, but the verdict ensures that those who committed this horrible crime will be punished."

President Biden's full statement may be read here.

Vice President Kamala Harris was not far behind in offering a response of her own, noting that she shares in the pain felt by the Arbery family.

"Today, the jury rendered its verdicts and the three defendants were found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery. Still, we feel the weight of grief. Ahmaud Arbery should be alive, and nothing can take away the pain that his mother Wanda Cooper-Jones, his father Marcus Arbery, and the entire Arbery family and community feel today. I share in that pain."

Vice President Harris' full statement may be read here.

Atlanta mayoral candidate and Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore said:

"Today, we can breathe a sigh of relief as fair and impartial justice has been delivered. I want to express my condolences to the family and friends of Ahmaud Arbery. And while no verdict can bring back their loved one. I pray that this moment gives them some measure of closure."

Governor Brian Kemp issued a hope that the entire Brunswick community can heal following the killing.

"Ahmaud Arbery was the victim of a vigilantism that has no place in Georgia. 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."

Senator Jon Ossoff extended his condolences to the Arbery family over Twitter.

"I extend again my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the Arbery family and my gratitude to the jury and court for their service. Ahmaud Arbery was a young man whose life was stolen from him, from his family, from the many who knew and loved him, and from the countless lives he would have touched in decades to come."

The senator's full statement may be viewed within the social media post provided below.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued a statement on the verdict, calling the killing a "senseless murder."

“I am grateful the jury has found the three men responsible for the senseless murder of Ahmaud Arbery guilty of their crimes. I am hopeful that this verdict gives Mr. Arbery’s family, and people across America, some level of comfort in knowing that these men are being held accountable for taking the life of an innocent young man.”

Atlanta City Councilman and mayoral candidate Andre Dickens offered his condolences.

"I wish to extend my condolences to the Arbery family after losing their son and enduring an arduous trial over the past several months. The name “Ahmaud Arbery” is another on a long list of too many Black men and women who were snatched from us far too soon. I take solace in knowing that the Arbery family has finally received vindication, and that in this instance, the justice system worked. I’m also thankful that our state government has repealed the archaic ‘Citizen’s Arrest’ law."

Andre Dickens' full statement may be viewed within the social media post provided below.

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Dr. Jamal Bryant, who spearheaded the prayer rally held outside the Brunswick courthouse during the trial, also issued a statement that read in part:

"Today’s guilty verdicts are an important step forward for justice and accountability in this state and in this country. We cannot tolerate vigilante justice, especially when it is rooted in prejudice, bigotry, and intolerance. The prosecutors are to be applauded for putting forth strong and undeniably clear evidence while operating with a high level of professionalism and wisdom in this highly visible case."

The American Civil Liberties Union has come forward with a statement on the verdict, claiming the events that led to the trial were reminiscent of Georgia under Jim Crow.

"The events surrounding the killing of Ahmaud Arbery harken back to the worst practices of Georgia under Jim Crow. The question before the jury was whether they believed in a Georgia that is multi racial and multicultural where every person can live freely or whether they would affirm white supremacy."

The ACLU's full statement may be read here.

Attorney Ben Crump, who helped organize a prayer rally outside of the Brunswick courthouse during the trial and was in the courtroom when the verdict was read, offered his thoughts on the decision.

“Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. After nearly two years of pain, suffering, and wondering if Ahmaud’s killers would be held to account, the Arbery family finally has some justice. Nothing will bring back Ahmaud, but his family will have some peace knowing the men who killed him will remain behind bars and can never inflict their brand of evil on another innocent soul. While today is not one for celebration, it is one for reflection. This case, by all accounts, should have been opened and closed...the violent stalking and lynching of Ahmaud Arbery was documented on video for the world to witness. But yet, because of the deep cracks, flaws, and biases in our systems, we were left to wonder if we would ever see justice. Today certainly indicates progress, but we are nowhere close to the finish line. America, you raised your voices for Ahmaud. Now is not the time to let them quiet. Keep marching. Keep fighting for what is right. And never stop running for Ahmaud.”

--

Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot and killed while running within the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Glynn County near Brunswick on February 23, 2020. Father and son Travis McMichael and Greg McMichael, along with neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan, were convicted on several charges following a lengthy trial sparked by Travis McMichael shooting the 25-year-old. 

Following a trial that has received national attention, inspired rallies and more, the jury found all three defendants guilty on nearly all charges.

Travis McMichael

  • Malice murder - Guilty
  • Felony murder
    • Count 1 - Guilty
    • Count 2 - Guilty
    • Count 3 - Guilty
    • Count 4 - Guilty
  • Aggravated assault 
    • Count 1 - Guilty
    • Count 2 - Guilty
  • False imprisonment to commit false imprisonment - Guilty
  • Criminal attempt to commit a felony - Guilty 

Greg McMichael

  • Malice murder - Not Guilty
  • Felony murder
    • Count 1 - Guilty
    • Count 2 - Guilty
    • Count 3 - Guilty
    • Count 4 - Guilty 
  • Aggravated assault 
    • Count 1 - Guilty 
    • Count 2 - Guilty 
  • False imprisonment to commit false imprisonment - Guilty 
  • Criminal attempt to commit a felony - Guilty 

William Bryan

  • Malice murder - Not Guilty
  • Felony murder
    • Count 1 - Not Guilty
    • Count 2 - Guilty
    • Count 3 - Guilty
    • Count 4 - Guilty 
  • Aggravated assault 
    • Count 1 - Not Guilty
    • Count 2 - Guilty 
  • False imprisonment to commit false imprisonment - Guilty 
  • Criminal attempt to commit a felony - Guilty