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Prosecutors present more evidence of racism by Arbery killers

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Federal prosecutors in the hate crimes trial against Ahmaud Arbery’s three killers on Wednesday presented the jury with a wealth of digital evidence of racism, as it was The government further elaborated on its case that the defendants, who were white, chased Mr. Arbery in their South Georgia neighborhood because he was Black.

Amy Vaughan, an intelligence analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, directed the jury to go through the text messages and social media posts of two of the defendants, Travis McMichael and William Bryan. , calmly read out the harsh language that prosecutor Christopher J. Perras ordered to warn those in the courtroom before she began. None of the racist statements specifically mentioned Mr. Arbery. But prosecutors hope that they will help convince the jury that racism prompted the trio to pursue him.

Prosecutors’ strategy on how they will use this evidence to serve their goals became clearer on Wednesday. They plan to expose men’s racist words too often to be considered slang. They took great note that some language was spoken in the days or months after Mr. Arbery was killed. They highlighted not only the racist remarks, but also expressed support for vigilism: The jury learned that about five months before the murders, Gregory McMichael, 66, the father of Travis McMichael, and the third defendant in the case, posted a Facebook meme that said, “A gun in your hand is worth more than an entire police force on a phone.”

And in the case of Travis McMichael, they presented evidence that he not only hated Black people but wished them dead. In one example, after a friend sent 36-year-old Travis McMichael a video of a Black man playing a reality prank, Mr McMichael responded by using a racist emoji. and said he would kill the person who made the joke.

Three men were found guilty of murdering Mr. Arbery in state court and sentenced to life in prison, with only Mr. Bryan being pardoned. In the federal case, which began Monday, they also face life in prison for charges against them, including attempted kidnapping and, in McMichaels’ case, separate weapons charges separate.

Arbery, 25, lives a few miles from the men’s neighborhood of Satilla Shores in suburban Brunswick. On the day of his death, he had gone jogging and walking into the area where a house was under construction, as he had many times before. The McMichaels, who suspected him of breaking into the neighborhood, began pursuing Mr. Arbery, who was unarmed, in their truck. Mr. Bryan soon joined the chase. None of the men called police until the end of the five-minute chase, when Gregory McMichael called 911 shortly before his son shot Mr Arbery three times with a shotgun.

In a federal trial, each person’s fate may vary, depending on the level of government evidence against them. There is no evidence that Mr. Bryan, 52, expressed a desire to harm Black people, although he has repeatedly suggested that his daughter’s black boyfriend use racist language, including 4 days before the murder.

No evidence was released Wednesday that Gregory McMichael used racial slurs. But in June 2016, he posted a meme on social media that read, “White Irish slaves are treated worse than any other race in America,” followed by contrasting vulgar language. Irish people with other racial or ethnic groups who claim “freedom” of many things.

Prosecution witnesses from the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have noted that they were unable to obtain data from Gregory McMichael’s cell phone.

In his opening statement on Monday, Bobbi Bernstein, another attorney for the US Department of Justice, indicated that the government plans to call a former colleague of McMichael’s who will discuss a stand against blacks. black that Mr McMichael continued after the death of civil rights leader Julian Bond. Ms Bernstein said Mr McMichael said he wished Mr Bond had been “put into the ground years ago.”

“He was nothing but trouble,” McMichael continued, according to Bernstein. “Those Negroes are nothing but trouble.”

A question raised in both federal and state trials is whether Mr Arbery committed any crime during his multiple visits to the home under construction. The house had no walls or doors at the time, and there is no evidence that he stole or damaged property there. On Tuesday, a representative for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said he didn’t think the visits could even be intrusive.

On Wednesday, prosecutors showed a video that Travis McMichael made in which he described his plan to hunt pigs. Video shows a “No trespassing” sign on a property and Mr McMichael knocks it down while walking past it. A month later, he called the police to report that Arbery had broken into the house under construction.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/16/us/ahmaud-arbery-mcmichael-racism.html Prosecutors present more evidence of racism by Arbery killers

Fry Electronics Team

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