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News > World

US Jury Begins Deliberation In African American Death Trial

  • Protest against the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, U.S., 2021.

    Protest against the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, U.S., 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @tina_davis

Published 23 November 2021 (17 hours 45 minutes ago)
Opinion

The three racists were formally charged ten weeks after the crime when a video showing the murder of Ahmaud Arbery became public.

On Tuesday, a twelve-member jury in Georgia began deliberating on the trial against three white men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery, an African-American who was playing sports in Brunswick in 2020.

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Judge Timothy Walmley explained to jurors what rules they must follow to determine whether defendants are guilty of nine criminal charges, including a murder charge that could carry life in prison. Previously, however, civil rights activists criticized the composition of the jury as only one of its members is an African-American citizen.

On February 23, 2020, Arbery was killed while exercising in Satilla Shores, a mostly white coastal area in Brunswick. Travis McMichael and his son Gregory saw the African American running through the area, got into a van with their firearms, and began to chase him.

A neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, joined the chase and videotaped the 25-year-old being shot and killed by Travis McMichael. The three racists were formally charged ten weeks after the murder when the video was released.

The trial for the Arbery murder takes place in a country that has been rocked in recent years by demonstrations against racism and police violence. The latest wave of protests came after the death of George Floyd, who was suffocated by a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said the Arbery case recalls the murders of the Jim Crow era, when racial segregation was institutionalized in the United States from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s.

Human rights defenders also note that the Arbery murder is similar to the brutal lynchings that killed more than 4,700 African Americans, 3,446 of whom were hanged in trees between 1882 and 1968.

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