Jury for Ahmaud Arbery Murder Trial Will Decide if Killing Fueled by Racism

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Twelve people chosen from a pool of roughly 1,000 Glynn County, Georgia residents summoned for jury duty in the case of Ahmaud Arbery will decide whether Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan are guilty of malice murder, false imprisonment and other charges, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The killing sparked cries of racist vigilantism on the part of the McMichaels and Bryan, who are white.

Pushing back, lawyers for the three defendants have said their clients pursued Arbery not because he was Black but because they believed he had been breaking into houses in the Satilla Shores neighborhood. The McMichaels contend they were relying on Georgia’s then-existing citizen’s arrest law. They claim it allowed them to detain Arbery because they had “reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion” that he was fleeing a scene where a felony had been committed. Prosecutors have noted that Arbery was carrying nothing when he was killed. In the wake of the fatal shooting, the Georgia General Assembly passed a state hate crimes law and repealed the law enabling private citizens to make arrests, citing what happened to Arbery.

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