Saturday, October 1

Life sentence for the murderers of a black athlete in the US


Updated

Two members of the same family chased 25-year-old Auhmad Arbery in a car until they cornered him and shot him three times at point-blank range.

Travis McMichael, William ‘Roddie’ Bryan and Gregory McMichael, at trial.AP
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Gregory and Travis McMichael, father and son, were sentenced to life in prison for the racially motivated murder of auhmad arbery, an African American who was killed while playing sports on a highway, in November 2021. The two McMichaels, along with a neighbor, William Bryan, chased Arbery, a 25-year-old football player, in a car until They cornered him and shot him three times at point-blank range. The murder was recorded on video by one of the participants.

The McMichaels had decided that Arbery was a thief, so they decided to take matters into their own hands. In reality, there is no indication that the murdered person had committed any crime in the area. On the contrary, Arbery used to run in that part of the city of Brunswick, in the state of Georgia, as part of his training.

The judge in the case, Lisa Godbey Wood, has seen in the case a clear racial motivation, for which he has considered the murder a “hate crime”, which is how crimes committed against a person are known in the US for what they are. Which, in Arbery’s case, was being black. “You acted because of the color of Mr. Arbery’s skin,” the judge told McMichael, who shortly before had apologized profusely to the victim’s relatives. Paradoxically, the older McMichael had worked, before retiring, as a police officer in the local sheriff’s office. Bryan, who recorded the murder on video with his mobile phone, will be sentenced this Monday night, US East Coast time (early Tuesday morning in Spain).

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The circumstances of Arbery’s murder seem like something out of a Hollywood movie about the Ku Klux Klan, the famous racist and protestant terrorist group that murdered and tortured the African-American population of the American South for decades. It all started when the McMichaels saw Arbery running through the area where they live, which is the classic suburb of shacks that surrounds American cities and where most of the urban population of that country usually lives.

Father and son got into a ‘pick up’ van and literally went hunting for their victim. His neighbor Bryan joined them in her SUV and recorded the hunt. It ended when the pursuers got out of his vehicle with the intention of kidnapping his victim. Arbery resisted and was shot three times at point-blank range. The video, which appeared months later, unleashed a wave of outrage in the United States. The McMichaels have stated that they fear reprisals in prison, and one of the defense attorneys says they have received death threats.

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