Georgia leaders react to guilty verdicts in death of Ahmaud Arbery

ATLANTA — Three men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery have been found guilty.

Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and Roddie Bryan were convicted of murder Wednesday afternoon following Arbery’s death in February 2020.

Travis McMichael was found guilty on all counts. Greg McMichael and Bryan were both found not guilty on charges of malice murder, but found guilty of felony murder.

All three will be sentenced at a later date.

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Moments after the jury reached a verdict, state leaders began issuing statements on the outcome of the trial.

Governor Brian Kemp issued a statement saying that “vigilantism” the McMichaels and Bryan participated in “has no place in Georgia.”

Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock said in a series of tweets that while these guilty verdicts bring accountability, they are not “true justice.”

Senator Jon Ossoff’s statement called for further investigation into why the case was not pursued sooner.

I extend again my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the Arbery family and my gratitude to the jury and court for their service.

Ahmaud Arbery was a young man whose life was stolen from him, from his family, from the many who knew and loved him, and from the countless lives he would have touched in decades to come.

Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers will be held accountable, but a historic civil rights mobilization was necessary for the killers to face prosecution at all. There was nearly impunity for this murder, and further investigation is necessary to determine how and why officials initially refused to pursue the case.

The circumstances of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder and the struggle required to secure a prosecution demonstrate profoundly the urgency of reforms to make equal justice real in America.

—  Sen. Jon Ossoff

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr also released a statement saying Wednesday’s verdict moves “us one step closer to justice.”

U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia Nikema Williams expressed her sorrow for the family, saying their Thanksgiving table will have one of their loved ones missing on Thursday, but hopes Wednesday’s events will bring a little solace.

Ahmaud Arbery should be spending Thursday celebrating Thanksgiving with his family. Tragically, America is still a country where a Black man is not safe going for a jog. We have much more work ahead so that little Black boys like my son Carter know that their Black lives matter. Although nothing can bring Ahmaud Arbery back, my hope is that his family can find some solace in knowing that those who murdered Ahmaud are being held accountable.

—  Rep. Nikema Williams

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also released a statement sharing her gratitude for the jury.

U.S. Congressman from Georgia David Scott called Wednesday “one of the greatest days in the history of our nation.”

This is one of the greatest days in the history of our nation because with this verdict – of all of them guilty – in the Arbery case here in Georgia, where just one of the twelve jurors were Black and yet they came forward with the right decision, the jury and our judicial system rose in its dedication to what is right.

—  Rep. David Scott

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