Activists say convictions in Ahmaud Arbery’s death wouldn’t have happened without cell phone video

ATLANTA — Activists in Atlanta are thrilled by the guilty verdicts for all three defendants charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery, but some say without cell phone video, it could have ended very differently.

People across the country are relieved that Arbery’s family is getting the justice they needed.

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Gerald Rose with the New Order Human Rights Organization says he was shocked when he heard the guilty verdicts on 23 of the 27 charges Greg and Travis McMichael and Roddie Bryan were facing.

The civil rights activist tells Channel 2′s Tom Jones he doesn’t think that the convictions would have happened if not for the cell phone video Bryan shot of the deadly shooting.

“I mean, in George Floyd, we proved that. In certain cases, we did have a video and we still didn’t get justice,” Rose said.

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Activist Jared Sawyer Jr. said he is thankful that the jury listened to evidence and came back with verdict he believes is just. He’s hopeful that the work of community activists is not done in vain.

“And to be reminded that justice in the end will roll down like waters and righteous like a mighty stream,” Sawyer said.

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Charmaine Turner, the mother of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, who was killed during a protest following the death of Rayshard Brooks, was at Lincoln Cemetery celebrating what would have been her daughter’s 10th birthday when the verdicts came down.

She told Jones that if anyone wants to protest the verdicts, there is just one way to do it.

“Peacefully. So that no one else is hurt, no other family is going through what we’re suffering from,” Turner said.

Activists say that while they’re happy about the verdicts, the fight for racial equality in life and in the courtroom is far from over.