The judge observed a minute of silence to draw attention to the horror experienced by the victim while being chased, and noted no remorse for the “terrifying” act.
Those convicted are gunman Travis McMichael, his father and their neighbor. They claimed that they believed Arbery was a thief, but they had no proof. The victim’s father spoke of the lynching. According to the ruling, only the neighbor can ask for pardon after 30 years in prison, which is not possible for the other two. The closest relative had asked for life imprisonment.
The convicted neighbor filmed the chase and the shooting. When these photos circulated online, the three suspects were still at large. McMichael and his father were arrested shortly after the incident, but were released after their statements were made. In May 2020, all three were still under arrest.
Arbery’s death sparked protests. His name was often cited in the demonstrations following the death of George Floyd. Floyd, also a black American, was killed by a white officer in May 2020 during his arrest. US President Joe Biden has called Arbery’s assassination a “painful reminder” that much remains to be done in combating racial inequality in the United States.
“Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert.”