What happened to Ahmaud Arbery? Trial and case explained as video of shooting of jogging man convicts three

The killers - including Travis McMichael - have now been convicted of the murder after the jury’s verdict

Three men arrested in connection with the murder of unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery are facing life in prison.

A jury deliberated for around 10 hours before convicting Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan.

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What happened to Ahmaud Arbery?

Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead while jogging by father and son Greg and Travis McMichael in Brunswick, Georgia, on 23 February 2020.

Arbery was jogging through a residential area when the McMichaels spotted him. They grabbed guns and jumped in a pickup truck to pursue the 25-year-old, claiming that they suspected he was a burglar.

Gregory claimed that Arbery attacked his son before he was shot; the white strangers chased him, trapped him on a quiet street and killed him with a shotgun.

The case received limited attention at the time, but a few months later, shocking video footage of the incident was leaked online.

It showed Arbery running around the McMichaels’ parked vehicle. Arbery, once past the truck, was shot, before struggling with one of the men and being shot two more times.

The man who filmed the incident, William “Roddie” Bryan, was arrested on false imprisonment charges.

He had joined the McMichaels’ pursuit in his own pickup and recorded mobile phone video of Travis McMichael fatally shooting Arbery.

Many have questioned why it took 74 days to arrest the men involved in the incident, raising concerns of racial profiling.

In the wake of the video leak and the arrests, Arbery’s name became synonymous with those like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the similarly unlawful killings of whom triggered refreshed momentum for the Black Lives Matter movement.

What will happen to the convicted?

All three men arrested in connection with the incident have now been charged, and face mandatory life imprisonment terms.

It is still yet to be decided by a judge whether those sentences will be served with or without the possibility of parole.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley did not immediately schedule a sentencing date, saying that he wanted to give both sides time to prepare.

“He didn’t do nothing but run and dream,” Marcus Arbery Sr. said of his son, outside the courthouse; he had earlier been asked to leave proceedings after leaping up and shouting as the first of the 23 guilty verdicts were read.

In a statement, President Joe Biden said Arbery’s killing was a “devastating reminder” of how much more work the country has to do in the fight for racial justice.

“While the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough. Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the color of their skin,” Biden said.

Travis McMichaels’ attorney said both he and his father felt that they did the right thing, but did regret that Arbery got killed.

“I can tell you honestly, these men are sorry for what happened to Ahmaud Arbery,” attorney Jason Sheffield said.

“They are sorry he’s dead. They are sorry for the tragedy that happened because of the choices they made to go out there and try to stop him.”

They plan to appeal the verdict.

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