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'My administration will continue to work to ensure that equal justice is not just a phrase' | President Biden, VP Harris react to guilty verdicts

"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."

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — President Joe Biden released a statement Wednesday following the verdicts in the trial stemming from the February 2020 death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.

Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan, were all charged with murder in Arbery's death. 

Arbery, who is Black, was shot and killed in the Satilla Shores neighborhood in Brunswick, Ga. in February 2020 by three white men. The three men weren't arrested until May 2020, after the release of cell phone video of the fatal shooting was leaked to the media.

Each faced nine felony counts carrying potential penalties of anywhere from one year in prison to life behind bars.

RELATED: Breaking: All 3 men found guilty in death of Ahmaud Arbery trial

After a nearly two-week-long trial and a day and a half of deliberations, jurors returned their verdicts finding Travis McMichael guilty on all nine counts, Gregory McMichael guilty on eight out of nine counts, and William "Roddie" Bryan guilty on six out of nine counts.

In response to the verdicts of a trial that drew national attention, Biden said, "While the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough. Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the color of their skin."

Biden went on to explain how his administration will continue working so that equality in the justice system is not just a phrase. "My administration will continue to do the hard work to ensure that equal justice under law is not just a phrase emblazoned in stone above the Supreme Court, but a reality for all Americans,"  Biden said.

Vice President Kamala Harris also reacted to the verdicts and released a statement. "Ahmaud Arbery was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend. His life had meaning. We will not forget him. We honor him best by continuing the fight for justice,Harris said.

President Biden's full statement.

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. 

While the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough. Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the color of their skin. My administration will continue to do the hard work to ensure that equal justice under law is not just a phrase emblazoned in stone above the Supreme Court, but a reality for all Americans.

 Vice President Kamala Harris' full statement.

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.

These verdicts send an important message, but the fact remains that we still have work to do. The defense counsel chose to set a tone that cast the attendance of ministers at the trial as intimidation and dehumanized a young Black man with racist tropes. The jury arrived at its verdicts despite these tactics.

Ahmaud Arbery was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend. His life had meaning. We will not forget him. We honor him best by continuing the fight for justice.