The February 2020 slaying drew limited attention at first.
Three men were convicted of murder Wednesday in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the Black man who was running empty-handed through a Georgia subdivision when the white strangers chased him, trapped him on a quiet street and blasted him with a shotgun.
The February 2020 slaying drew limited attention at first. But when video of the shooting leaked online, Arbery’s death quickly became another example in the nation’s reckoning of racial injustice in the way Black people are treated in their everyday lives.
Now the men all face a mandatory sentence of life in prison. The judge will decide whether their sentences are served with or without the possibility of parole.
Here is a compilation of reaction to the verdict from Florida politicians:
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist:
“Today, justice has been served in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. For millions of Black Americans, Ahmaud’s murder served as yet another tragic reminder of the frightening injustices that face people of color. Vigilantism has no place in a civil society. We will continue to keep the Arbery family in our prayers and wish them comfort and strength through their tragic loss.”
U.S. Rep. Val Demings:
“Ahmaud Arbery should be alive today. This tragedy should have never happened. I am keeping his family in my prayers. We must move forward together to dispel the shadows of our past and to ensure the safety and civil rights of every American.”
Rep. Michele Rayner:
“Today, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William Bryan were found guilty of killing Ahmaud Arbery, after trying to claim this act was out of self defense. This guilty verdict was the only appropriate conclusion to the Arbery family’s fight for justice. Ahmaud was a young man out for a jog who was targeted due to the simple fact that he was Black and the echoes of privilege and agency of supremacist behavior. I find it difficult to celebrate one victory of justice while numerous others are forgotten due to the corruption, cronyism and abuse of power in our justice system. I hope that this verdict and his life are immortalized in our society as a reminder that our activism and calls for action worked. Everyone deserves the freedom to live out a healthy and full life and I remain committed to seeking reforms which will ensure that.”
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Peter Schorsch Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.