After jurors delivered guilty verdicts in the cases against Ahmaud Arbery’s killers on Wednesday, Arbery’s father, Marcus, spoke outside of the courtroom. In his speech, with Al Sharpton standing behind him, Mr. Arbery declared that “all lives matter.”
“We conquered that lynch mob,” said Arbery. “We got that lynch mob. They’re still here today, lettin’ you know that black kid lives don’t matter.” He continued, saying, “For real, all lives matter. Not just black children; we don’t wanna see nobody go through this. I don’t wanna see no daddy watch their kid get lynched or shot down like that, so it’s our problem. It’s all our problem.”
Arbery added, “So hey, let’s keep fighting. Let’s keep doin’ it and making this place a better place for all human beings. All human beings; everybody.” He concluded by saying, “Love everybody. All human beings need to be treated equally. We finna conquer this lynching. Today is a good day.”
The trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers came to a conclusion on Wednesday, and all three defendants were found guilty of murder. Arbery was reportedly out jogging in his neighborhood when three men, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William R. Bryan, chased him down in their trucks because they suspected him of criminal activity.
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Travis McMichael, the son of Gregory McMichael, actually shot and killed Arbery, while Bryan videoed the incident from his own vehicle. The trio testified that they were trying to conduct a citizen’s arrest, but prosecutors said they did not have “immediate knowledge” that a crime had been committed by Arbery.
The jury then was tasked not with determining whether the men killed Arbery, but whether their reason of doing so was lawful. Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley noted to the jury that a “private citizen’s warrantless arrest must occur immediately after the perpetration of the offense, or in the case of felonies during escape.”
He added, “If the observer fails to make the arrest immediately after the commission of the offense or during escape in the case of felonies, his power to do so is extinguished.”
The jury found Travis McMichael guilty of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony. Gregory McMichael and Bryan were both found not guilty of malice murder and one count of felony murder but were each found guilty of aggravated assault, three counts of felony murder, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.