WABE's Week In Review: The legacy of Ahmaud Arbery after another guilty verdict for the men who murdered him

A Brunswick jury found the three white men, who are serving life in state prison for the murder Ahmaud Arbery, guilty on Tuesday of federal hate crimes. The verdict came the day before the two-year mark of the high-profile killing.

The jury found Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan violated Arbery’s civil rights when they chased him for five minutes before Travis McMichael shot and killed him. The panel said the men used dangerous weapons, including their trucks to attempt to detain Arbery.

Prosecutors had presented a history of violent racist language in social media posts and text messages from the men, arguing that fueled their pursuit of the 25-year-old Black man.

All three are already serving life on state convictions for the killing. Travis and Gregory McMichael are serving without parole.

Ahmaud Arbery Day…

A painting of Ahmaud Arbery is displayed during a vigil at New Springfield Baptist Church on Wednesday in Waynesboro, Ga.

The verdict in the hate crimes trial came one day before the two-year mark of Arbery’s murder.

After his killing on Feb. 23, 2020, officials in Brunswick did not arrest or charge the three men. It was only after video of the murder went viral that eventually the state stepped in and arrested Bryan and the McMichaels.

The outrage that followed led state lawmakers to repeal Georgia’s Civil War-era citizen’s arrest law (the men said they were trying to detain Arbery because they suspected him of burglary) and add a state hate crimes law to the books.

It also led lawmakers to pass “Ahmaud Arbery Day” in Georgia. State Rep. Sandra Scott proposed the legislation.

Prosecuting the prosecutor…

Protesters hold a sign during a rally to protest the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery Friday, May 8, 2020, in Brunswick Ga. Former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson was indicted Thursday on misconduct charges alleging she used her position to shield the men who chased and killed Arbery.

Former Brunswick District Attorney Jackie Johnson has been charged with violation of oath of public office and obstruction of a police officer for not charging the three men in the case right after it happened.

“We will not miss Jackie Johnson’s trial,” said Daryl Jones is one of the leaders of the Transformative Justice Coalition and at a Brunswick vigil on Wednesday.  ” It will be followed closely, and when it comes up we’ll be here because we believe in 100- percent justice for Ahmaud Arbery.”

Johnson’s trial has not been scheduled yet.

Also in this episode…

–Jim Burress talked with lawyer and former prosecutor Alicia Luncheon about the verdict and Johnson’s trial.

–Christopher Alston had more from the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation’s annual event.

–Stephannie Stokes updated the story of Forest Cove residents. Those in the public housing complex are now being promised help moving from city and federal officials after our multiple part series on conditions there.

–And Kennesaw State students and alumni celebrate over a “Jeopardy!” contestant.

For a deeper exploration of Ahmaud Arbery’s story, listen to WABE’s podcast, “Buried Truths.” Hosted by journalist, professor, and Pulitzer-prize-winning author Hank Klibanoff, season three of “Buried Truths” explores the Arbery murder and its direct ties to racially motivated murders of the past in Georgia.