President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the guilty verdict in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery was a reflection of the functioning of the justice system, yet much progress was needed on racial justice.
In a written statement shortly after the verdict was announced, Biden said, “While guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough.” “Instead, we must re-commit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one is afraid of violence because of the color of their skin.”
Three white men were found guilty of felony on Wednesday in the shooting death of Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was walking in their neighborhood when defendants chased him and confronted him last year.
Travis McMichael, 35; his father, Gregory McMichael, 65; And their neighbor, 52-year-old William Bryan, faces a life sentence for state crimes.
The men also face federal hate crime charges, with those charges expected to go to trial in February. Arbery’s family and civil rights leaders have compared his death to modern-day lynchings.
Vice President Kamala Harris said the decisions “send an important message, but the fact remains that we still have work to do.”
“Ahmoud Arbery was a son. He was a brother. He was a friend. His life had meaning,” she said. “We will not forget him. We respect him as best we can as we continue to fight for justice.”
McMichaels and Brian chase Arbery in pickup trucks after seeing him in their neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23, 2020. Travis McMichael shoots Arbery from close range with a shotgun. Brian filmed the fatal encounter on his cellphone, which was eventually made public.
Arbery’s death alongside George Floyd sparked racial justice protests across the country last year.
Biden said 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 his community, but the verdict ensures that those who perpetrate this horrific crime will be punished,” Biden said.
Credit: www.nbcnews.com /