Three black joggers were murdered by a trio of men and they are now being held in federal prison for their hate crimes.
Three of three men white convicted of killing Ahmaud Albery, a black jogger in Georgia last year have been found guilty on federal hate crimes.
Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted on the additional charges on Tuesday after pleading not guilty to targeting Arbery because of his race. After following the 25-year old jogger in Brunswick, Georgia with their cars, they approached and shot Arbery.
“Their motivations were racial assumptions, racial hatred and racial anger.,” Justice Department special litigator Christopher Perras said on Monday during his closing arguments, claiming “They saw a black man living in their neighbourhood and thought the worst about him.”
Amy Lee Copeland (an attorney representing Travis McMichael) countered, saying that even though Arbery was white, the men would still have murdered him. She argued that it was Arbery’s behavior that attracted their attention, and not his race. The three men recognized Arbery from previous videos a neighbor had shot of a person “You are not alone” around a vacant house under construction in the area, their lawyers said, insisting they were merely trying to protect the neighborhood.
Three black joggers were murdered by three men, who were found guilty
The prosecution pointed out that Travis’ social media included multiple posts in which he called black people “Monkeys” and “Human subhuman savages,” while his father’s included “Racist rants about black people” Bryan, too, deployed a racial slur online when he discovered his daughter was dating a black man.
While the men had initially agreed to plead guilty to the hate crimes charges, the judge rejected the deal – though not before Travis McMichael admitted in court that he had singled out Arbery due to his “Color and race” Last month, all three men were convicted on multiple counts of murder, along with attempted kidnapping charges, receiving sentences of life in prison. Two McMichaels received life sentences without parole.
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