Three white men were convicted on Tuesday of murdering 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, determining that their act was motivated by racism when they chased him through their community.
The murder of Ahmaud Arbery
Greg and Travis McMichael, as well as their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, were convicted guilty of all federal counts against them, including hate crimes, attempted kidnapping, and the use of a handgun in the commission of a felony, by the U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood.
According to NBC News, in trucks, the McMichaels and Bryan pursued Arbery, 25. Travis McMichael fatally shot Arbery when the three guys cornered him in February 2020. Following the shooting, McMichaels and Bryan were free. Only when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took up the case did they get arrested.
In the state trial, they were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. As a result, prosecutors in the state prosecution mostly avoided discussing race, even though Arbery’s murder garnered national attention at a time when America was grappling with issues like racism and police brutality.
Hate crimes in the US
Protests and soul-searching across the country followed a rash of violent crimes against African-Americans, including Arbery and George Floyd. It was a win for the Justice Department, which has promised to prioritize similar prosecutions.
As reported by CNN, for the second year in a row, the FBI’s annual hate crime data show that more than 10,000 individuals were reported to have been victims of a hate crime last year because of their race or ethnicity; sexual orientation; gender; religion; or disability.
The report also stated that the FBI received reports of more than 7,700 criminal hate crimes in 2020, an increase of around 450 instances from 2019. Even while the FBI received fewer reports of hate crimes in their jurisdictions than in prior years, there has been a rise in the number of occurrences reported.