Three white Americans convicted of murdering African-American jogger Ahmaud Arbery

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Three white Americans were convicted on Wednesday of the murder of African-American jogger Ahmaud Arbery, whom they prosecuted and then shot dead in February 2020 in the state of Georgia.

Travis McMichael, the author of the fatal shots, his father Gregory McMichael and their neighbor William Bryan, who participated in the pursuit, were on trial in Brunswick, in this southern state of the United States, as a result of the tragedy. which had fueled the major anti-racist protests in the summer of 2020 across the country.

William Roderick Bryan, Gregory McMichael et Travis McMichael. – AFP

The twelve jurors, including one black man, deliberated for more than eleven hours to reach this unanimous verdict.

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The announcement was greeted by protesters who chanted Ahmaud Arbery’s name outside the courthouse. In the room, a family member shouted for joy when Travis McMichael was convicted.

US President Joe Biden hailed the verdict, but said “a lot of work” remains towards racial equality.

Altercation, pursuit and gunshot

On February 23, 2020, the 25-year-old was jogging in this coastal town in the southeastern United States when he was chased by the three men. After an altercation, Travis McMichael opened fire and killed the jogger.

The three defendants then assured to have taken him for a burglar operating in the vicinity and had invoked a law of Georgia then authorizing ordinary citizens to make arrests.

A video of the drama, released almost three months later, scandalized the United States and Ahmaud Arbery had become an icon of the anti-racist movement Black Lives Matter (black lives matter).

The racial dimension of this case, in a state still marked by racism and segregation, was long overlooked during the trial, which lasted more than a month.

The three defendants are also indicted for racist crime by federal justice and will be tried again in February.

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