24 Nov 2021 Black Activists Praise Verdict in Ahmaud Arbery Murder Trial
“Let’s Stop Saying the Justice System Doesn’t Work for People of Color”
Washington, D.C. – After a jury in Glynn County, Georgia ruled decisively against the three men involved in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, members of the Project 21 black leadership network commented on the verdict and its implications.
“Let’s stop saying the justice system doesn’t work for people of color,” said Project 21 member Donna Jackson. “From the civil rights era through today, our justice system has expanded the rights of black and brown people. This verdict shows that both the Constitution and our justice system are colorblind and that they work.”
Arbery died on February 23, 2020 during a confrontation with Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan. The three men threatened, held and chased Arbery before he was shot and killed by Travis McMichael. They had accused Arbery of stealing from a local construction site, but there is no evidence to corroborate their claim.
“Justice was served in the Ahmaud Arbery case,” said Project 21 member AK Kamara. “Not through some miracle, or because of protestors or celebrity outcries or politicians. It’s because America has one of the fairest and most just judicial systems in the world. Lady Justice is iconically blind for a reason. She does not care about race, creed or status. It is only when we as humans subvert or warp justice for our own means that it fails.”
All three men were charged with nine counts, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit a felony. The men pled not guilty, citing self-defense during the process of making a citizen’s arrest. Georgia repealed its citizen’s arrest law in May 2021 as a result of Arbery’s murder.
“This is proof-positive of how our judicial system works,” said Project 21 member Martin Baker. “Trials should be based on the law, not on media influence or social media trends. Our justice system is imperfect because we as human beings are imperfect when we base things purely on emotional triggers. This jury looked at the facts and rendered a judgement based on the law. It is my prayer that healing can now begin as justice has been served.”
Travis McMichael was found guilty on all counts by a mixed-race jury, and all three men are likely facing lifetime imprisonment for their crimes.
“Like with Kyle Rittenhouse,” Jackson added, “this case should not be viewed as a race quota scoreboard. I hope that we can return to a place of civility and respect for human life. It is time that we stop viewing outcomes based on the color of one’s skin but on the rule of law.”
“This verdict should quell those who were upset with the Rittenhouse verdict,” said Project 21 member Marie Fischer. “These men shot and murdered a man who was out and about. They purposely went out, chased and shot an unarmed man. Even if they thought he was committing a crime, fatal force was not necessary. Justice has spoken twice over the last week.”
To schedule an interview with a member of Project 21 on this or other issues, contact Judy Kent at (703) 477-7476.
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