The racially charged murder of Ahmaud Arbery has come to national attention with the emergence of new video evidence that has sparked outrage. While jogging, Arbery, a black man, was chased by white men in trucks through a neighborhood in Georgia. This tragic incident occurred in February of 2020, and the men on trial for the murder are Gregory and Travis McMichael, as well as the man recording the murder, William Bryan.
The case was generally unknown to people outside of the South Georgia community, but a video of the shooting later surfaced, leading to enraged public protests. It came at a time when society was already fighting back against racial inequality after the death of George Floyd.
The men who killed Arbery claim that they were trying to accomplish a citizen's arrest as they suspected him as the reason for a few recent robberies; however, when investigated, it was revealed that there was only one robbery seven weeks before the murder with no relationship to Arbery. The McMichaels had seen Arbery leaving a house under construction, which he had visited several times previously. In the video of the murder, the men were using racial slurs towards Arbery, which showed clear evidence of racism as the underlying cause of the murder.
When police arrived on the scene, they did not immediately go to help Arbery, and instead conversed with the McMichaels. Because Gregory McMichael had been a part of the police force earlier in his life, the police automatically began to take Gregory’s words as the truth, and did not treat the scene like a murder investigation.
The national attention of the case has led the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to become involved, and the public support of Arbery has pushed for charges against the three men. Consequently, both McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault, while the man who took the video, William Bryan, was charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. The verdict of the trial was much awaited for, as it is so closely related to the recent fight against racism. The jury’s outcome was that all three men were found guilty on most charges.
Ahmaud Arbery was a devoted son and friend who was simply out, doing something he loved when he was fatally shot by people with racist motives. His mother was an advocate throughout the investigation and fought for her son's memory to receive justice. This case has gotten so much attention because of the high passion for fighting against racial inequality, and it further emphasizes the racism in our society, as well as the importance of continuing to fight against it.