National civil rights leaders hailed the conviction of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers for federal hate crimes as a victory for racial justice. But they also called it a reflection of the determination of his mother Arbery, who vowed to keep fighting for her son.
The three defendants — Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan, who were found guilty of murder last year in state court — have faced a series of charges that essentially allege they were motivated by segregation. profound racism. During the week-long trial, federal prosecutors unleashed a mountain of racially hateful texts and social media conversations to demonstrate how the men thought of black Americans.
Prosecutors say that mindset prompted the defendants in February 2020, when they chased and shot Mr Arbery as he jogged in a neighborhood near Brunswick, Ga.
Priest Al Sharpton called judgment “Setting precedent” on Twitter. “Even in the Deep South, the Feds will convict you for acts of hate,” he wrote. “I salute Ahmaud’s parents for being forced to attend the trial.”
Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, noted that the ruling came a day before the two-year anniversary of Mr. Arbery’s death. “Two years ago today, none of us knew about Ahmaud Arbery,” he said. “But two years ago tomorrow, his story has shaken the consciences of our nation and our world. Ahmaud Arbery was arrested in broad daylight, and today’s sentencing brings us one step closer to justice. ”
Sherilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Foundation, noted the persistence of his mother Arbery, who, along with other family members, begged the judge not to accept plea agreements from two of the defendants, which should expedite the process. with federal court.
Ms Ifill said: “The perseverance, courage and determination of Wanda Cooper Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, must be recognized and praised. “She has determined that this prosecution will proceed.”
Marc H. Morial, executive director of the National Urban League, made it clear that the three men’s racial hatred of black Americans fueled their actions and callousness. “They see no value in the life of a black person,” Mr. Morial said. “The case is made by their own words.”
Ben Crump, an attorney for Mr Arbery’s family, said the trial marked the end of a harrowing two-year journey for justice. That included making sure their son was cloned every step of the way.
“For the past 24 months, they have devoted themselves to getting justice for their son. They had to relive his brutal murder, watch and listen as he was possessed by demons in court, and fight to share with the world who Ahmaud Arbery was and who he could be, if his young life had not been so brutally cut short. ”
Mr. Crump added: “Ahmaud Arbery was denied the opportunity to define his own legacy, but America, we have the right to make sure that it is the country that advances our fight for equal justice and dispels hatred from our hearts. this world. That is how we continue to honor Ahmaud and ensure that his death is not in vain.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/us/ahmaud-arbery-civil-rights-leaders.html Civil rights leaders welcome the Judgment in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery