Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers found guilty


GlendaleUMC/CC BY 2.0

A saying that is commonly known within the Black Lives Matter community is “Say their name!” It is to show that a life will not go unrecognized.

2020 will be known as the year where there was constant change. Some may think that COVID-19 was the only change, however, the world was met with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. This organization was created by three black women named Alicia Graza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. BLM was created in 2013 after George Zimmerman, a man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, was found innocent for his murder.

Although the movement was created in 2013, 2020 was the year where it all really blew up. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Dion Johnson and Ahmaud Arbery are just a short list of black people that were murdered based on their race. 

In the case of Ahmaud Arbery, he was a 25-year-old man who was murdered on Feb. 23, 2020, by three white men in a small town within Georgia called Brunswick. Travis McMichael, a 35-year-old man, his 65-year-old father, Gregory McMichael and their 52-year-old neighbor William Bryan went on a sadistic “goose chase.” 

These three men saw Arbery wandering near a construction site that he would go too often, out of curiosity. After he set off for his jog, they chased him down to fatally shoot the jogger after a five-minute chase. Ahmaud’s killers used a .375 Magnum and 12-gauge shotgun. 

Just like all the other unjustified murders of people of color, many protests came out as a result of Arbery’s murder, and people relentlessly marching the streets carried this movement. The Arbery family may have never seen their son’s murderers get in trouble if it weren’t for protesters calling for action. 

Due to many people pushing this case, the justice system finally prevailed. This case, unlike many others with a similar story, was finally in favor of the victim. The three men who murdered Arbery were found guilty after a long-awaited year and ten months, which felt like ages, after the Arbery family and many other people around the world persistently reminded the American government why this should not go unnoticed. 

Many were worried about the jury due to the fact that it was a jury made up of 12 white people and one person of color. Both Travis and Gregory McMichael, as well as William Bryan, were all sentenced to life in prison and were found guilty to almost all charges. 

Although the Ahmaud Arbery case is an amazing breakthrough in American history, many believe it simply should not have taken this long for a few people of color to get what they deserve after years of pain. Arbery’s case is a beacon of light and hope for many going through a similar situation. With the way America is moving, people feel it cannot stop with just Arbery’s case or Floyd’s case, but every act of misconduct against people of color should be given the same, if not better, treatment. 

Ahmaud’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, stated that this Thanksgiving would be bittersweet, and the word bittersweet is a perfect way to sum up this entire case. An innocent man’s life was taken away, but finally became a glimpse of hope for more cases like this.