Ahmaud Arbery’s killers appealing federal hate crime conviction, Arbery family to hold rally

ATLANTA — A U.S. appeals court in Atlanta will hear from attorneys for the three men found guilty in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

The shooting in a Glynn County neighborhood made national headlines in 2020. The panel will decide if federal hate crimes convictions will stand.

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After the hearing inside by three judges on the 11th circuit, members of the Arbery family, along with the Georgia NAACP and Transformative Justice Coalition will hold a protest rally.

Wednesday’s hearing deals with the federal hate crimes trial and not the state murder charges, but Arbery’s supporters say the jury got it right and the conviction must be upheld.

Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach is LIVE at the U.S. Court of Appeals in downtown Atlanta where Arbery supporters will rally, on Channel 2 Action News This Morning.

Three white men are spending the rest of their lives in prison after trials and sentencing in the murder of a Black man, Ahmad Arbery.

Shooter Travis McMichael, father Greg McMichael and neighbor “Roddy” Bryan also were later convicted of federal hate crimes.

On Wednesday, lawyers for the trio will argue to the U.S. Court of Appeals that previous comments, social media posts and texts presented at trial did not prove racist intent needed for a hate crime.


Arbery was shot and killed as he ran through a Glynn County neighborhood in Feb. 2020. Bryan recorded cellphone video of the shooting.

The men claimed they went after Arbery because they thought he was stealing.

Family members, activists and partners plan a protest rally outside the court, releasing a statement that says in part.

“Although they have a legal right to appeal their federal convictions, they must not escape accountability for the racist and evil contempt that they held in their hearts that precipitated the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.”

Even if the appeals court overturns their federal convictions, the McMichaels and Bryan would stay in prison. All are serving life sentences for the state murder convictions, but they have motions pending for new trials.

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