New life sentence for two murderers of Ahmaud Arbery

New life sentence for two murderers of Ahmaud Arbery

Wanda Cooper-Jones, right, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, with the Reverend Jesse Jackson by her side, speaks to the media following the sentencing of Travis McMichael in federal court in Brunswick, Georgia.

US federal justice on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment two white men, a father and his son, guilty of having chased and killed in 2020 the young black jogger Ahmaud Arbery.

Travis McMichael, 36, and his father Gregory McMichael, 66, had previously been sentenced to life without the possibility of early release by a court in the state of Georgia, where the crime was committed.

The federal judge officiating at this second trial sentenced the two men to life for racist crimes and refused their request to be transferred to a federal prison for the remainder of their sentence.

On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was jogging in Brunswick, a coastal town in Georgia, when he was chased by the two men accompanied by a neighbor, armed and in two pickup trucks. After a few minutes of chase, Travis McMichael shot the young African-American.

Ahmaud Arbery then became an emblem of the Black Lives Matter movement during the major anti-racist demonstrations of 2020.

The third defendant, William Bryan, who participated in the prosecution of Ahmaud Arbery by filming it, had been sentenced at the first trial to life with the possibility of early release after 30 years in prison. His sentence at the federal trial has not yet been pronounced.

This second trial, unlike the first, placed the racist dimension of the murder at the heart of the debates.

The prosecution had notably listed the particularly violent racist insults uttered by the three men in the past, with the aim of accounting for the state of mind of the defendants when they went after Ahmaud Arbery.

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