Lee Heidhues 11.5.2021
The shocking February 2020 shotgun murder of 25 year old black man Ahmaud Arbery by three whites while he was jogging in a predominantly white neighborhood shocked the world.
The accused killers attempted a citizen’s arrest of Arbery and ruthlessly gunned him down in the process.
Arbery’s murder was temporarily lost in the chaos and demonstrations following murder of George Floyd in Minnesota in May 2020 by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The ex-cop was convicted and now sits in prison in Minnesota
Now Arbery’s killers are in the Dock in the Glynn County courthouse. It’s shocking that even though the County is 26 percent black, there is only one black person on the jury.
Will Arbery’s family see justice done in Georgia?
Excerpted from The Guardian 11.5.2021
Prosecutors on Friday said the three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia last year placed the 25-year-old Black man under a sustained “attack” and made a series of “assumptions and driveway decisions” that led to shooting him dead.
Lawyers played video showing Travis McMichael opening fire three times on Arbery, who was unarmed, as trial gets underway.
During highly charged opening statements in the closely watched trial, now infamous cellphone video of the shooting was played to the court. Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, broke down in tears.
The video shows Travis McMichael opening fire three times on Arbery, who was unarmed, with a Remington 12-gauge pump-action shotgun.
“This was an attack on Mr Arbery for five minutes, and the only thing Mr Arbery did was try to run away,” lead prosecutor Linda Dunikoski told the jury of 11 white members and one Black member.
The three defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, aggravated assault and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment, in a case thrust into the global spotlight.
During detailed opening arguments, Dunikoski told the jury Gregory McMichael informed police after the shooting that he called out to Arbery during the pursuit, “Stop or I’ll blow your fucking head off”, and also told police Arbery had been “trapped like a rat” during their five-minute chase.
The shooting happened in February 2020, on a quiet street in rural south Georgia, as McMichael, his father and co-defendant Gregory McMichael and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, attempted to block Arbery, who was on foot, by pursuing him in two vehicles.
Arbery, who was known to go jogging in the area, was described by prosecutors as “an avid runner”. The jury was told that evidence would show that the McMichaels had wrongly assumed the 25-year-old was attempting a burglary at a house under construction in the Satilla Shores neighbourhood.
Judge Timothy Walmsley swore in the disproportionately white jury on Friday. Although Glynn county, where the court is located, has an African American populationof 26%, the jury pool was whittled down until only one Black person was seated. Defense attorneys struck 11 Black potential jurors, an outcome the judge criticized. Abery’s mother called the imbalance in the jury “devastating”.