The pictures from February 23, 2020 are shocking. They show a man in Brunswick, Georgia, USA, followed while jogging, caught and finally shot. Now the perpetrators have been found guilty.
In the trial of the death of the black jogger Ahmaud Arbery, the three white defendants were convicted of murder.
▶ ︎ The defendant Travis McMichael, 35, who shot Arbery, was found guilty of the murder by the jury.
► The two co-defendants, the shooter’s father, Gregory McMichael, and neighbor William Bryan, who were both involved in the prosecution of Arbery, were found guilty of aggravated assault and manslaughter, among other things.
All three men face life imprisonment. The sentence for the accused will be determined at a later date.
In the state of Georgia, the same sentence applies to murder and various crimes that would be equivalent to manslaughter under German law. Gunman Travis McMichael was found guilty on all nine counts.
The Arbery case caused outrage and headlines around the world last year. The convicted men claimed that the 25-year-old African-American was a burglar and invoked a Georgia law at the time that allowed citizens to arrest suspects.
A video recorded by Bryan shows how the McMichaels, armed with a rifle and a revolver, block the path of the running Arbery with their pickup truck. Travis McMichael and Arbery argue, then several shots can be heard and the black man collapses. Travis McMichael later protested in court that he acted in self-defense because Arbery attacked him.
Arbery’s death – particularly along with the death of George Floyd in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis – led to nationwide anti-racism protests in the summer of 2020.
There was outrage that the judiciary only took action against the white men when the video of the incident became public months later. Most recently, there was criticism that there was only one black jury member on the twelve-person jury.