October 3, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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Hate crime against jogger: Perpetrators convicted again

Hate crime against jogger: Perpetrators convicted again

Travis McMichael, a convict. © AFP

Two and a half years after the murder of runner Ahmed Arbery, 25, an African American man, Travis McMichael and his father Gregory, two white men from the United States, were sentenced to life in prison. This was decided by a federal court in the US state of Georgia on Monday. The two were convicted of a hate crime with their neighbor, William Bryan. He was imprisoned for 35 years.

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Arbery was shot near the town of Brunswick, Georgia, in February 2020 while jogging. The investigation really began when a shocking cell phone video emerged months later, sparking outrage in the United States and abroad. Shortly thereafter, on May 25, 2020, George Floyd, another African American, was killed in a brutal police crackdown in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was the start of months of protests against racism and police brutality.

Three for life

Georgia state court sentenced Travis McMichael, 36, Gregory McMichael, 66, and William Bryan, 52, to life in prison in January of this year. Then shooter Travis McMichael was convicted of murder. The other two were found guilty of assault and murder.

The three were also charged in federal court because of the racist background of the facts. The prosecution argued at trial that the defendant had written or expressed racist messages in the past. The defense argued that Arbery was killed not on racial grounds, but because the men suspected him of a crime.

A federal judge found the three guilty of a hate crime in February. Now the punishment has been determined. Travis and Gregory McMichael were sentenced to life in prison, and William Bryan was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his involvement.

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