Today, all three defendants in the trial of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, were found guilty of felony murder. All three men will now face hate-crime charges in federal court in February. Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, co-founders of Black Voters Matter, who supported local protests with the Transformative Justice Coalition and organizers on-the-ground, issued the following statement in response to the verdict:
“Every now and again our justice system gets it right. In the case of three white men who racially profiled, hunted and murdered 25 year old, Ahmaud Arbery, a jury of 11 white men and women, and one Black man, handed down a guilty verdict for slaughtering a man who was jogging while Black in his South Georgia neighborhood. This outcome is due in large part to the Arbery family whose relentless desire to seek justice for their son propelled the case forward.
“In fact, just as Mamie Till-Mobley insisted that the media publish photos of her murdered son, Emmett Till, 65 years ago to raise awareness and support for a trial, so did the Arbery family through their insistence on releasing the video of their son being murdered to the public. It was that act of transparency that really made this trial possible.
“However, much like the trial of George Floyd’s murderer, where the state attorney had to step in to prosecute the case, it’s very telling that the only way to get justice for Arbery — in a community that is 55% Black — was to take it out of the hands of local prosecutors, who had already demonstrated their refusal to prosecute the case fairly. A clear reminder that local elections continue to play an important role in the lives of Black voters.
“Furthermore, the defense’s case, fueled by racially-charged language, was deplorable, seeking to dehumanize Arbery at every step. Part of the ongoing demand for justice should include holding these attorneys accountable for their actions.
“But with all this said, we know that Wanda Cooper-Jones and Marcus Arbery will never get back their son.
“BVM stands in solidarity with Arbery’s family and the Brunswick community who supported them. We know this verdict is an indicator of how strong the will of the people is and how we can bring about change when we work together in pursuit of justice.”
Black Voters Matter, a 501c4, and Capacity Building Institute, a 501c3, are dedicated to expanding Black voter engagement and increasing progressive power through movement-building and engagement. Working with grassroots organizations, specifically in key states in the South, BVM seeks to increase voter registration and turnout, advocate for policies to expand voting rights/access, and help develop infrastructure where little or none exists to support a power-building movement that keeps Black voters and their issues at the forefront of our election process. For more information, please visit https://www.blackvotersmatterfund.org/.