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Date: December 6, 2021 6:11 am
Biden says verdict in Ahmaud Arbery killing reflects 'justice system doing its job'

Biden says verdict in Ahmaud Arbery killing reflects ‘justice system doing its job’

President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that while the guilty verdict in the trail of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery was a reflection of the justice system working, there was still much progress that needed to be made on racial justice.

“While the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough,” Biden said in a written statement shortly after the verdict was announced. “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.”

Three white men were found guilty Wednesday of felony murder in the shooting death of Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was running in their neighborhood when the defendants pursued and confronted him last year.

Travis McMichael, 35; his father, Gregory McMichael, 65; and their neighbor William Bryan, 52, face sentences of up to life in prison for the state crimes.

The men also face federal hate crime charges, are expected to stand trial in February on those charges. Arbery’s family and civil rights leaders have likened his death to a modern-day lynching.

Vice President Kamala Harris said that the verdicts “send an important message, but the fact remains that we still have work to do.”

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“Ahmaud Arbery was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend. His life had meaning,” she said. “We will not forget him. We honor him best by continuing the fight for justice.”

The McMichaels and Bryan chased Arbery in pickup trucks after they spotted him in their neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23, 2020. Travis McMichael shot Arbery with a shotgun at close range. Bryan filmed the fatal encounter on his cellphone, which was eventually made public.

The death of Arbery, along with George Floyd, fueled racial justice protests around the country last year.

Biden said that Arbery’s killing was a “devastating reminder of how far we have to go in the fight for racial justice in this country.”

“Nothing can bring Mr. Arbery back to his family and to his community, but the verdict ensures that those who committed this horrible crime will be punished,” Biden said.


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