Civil rights lawyers and activists heralded the guilty verdicts Wednesday for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery as a hopeful sign of changing times in the South, but some said a just result belied significant problems with how the trial was conducted.
“The events surrounding the killing of Ahmaud Arbery harken back to the worst practices of Georgia under Jim Crow,” the ACLU of Georgia said in a written statement released after the verdict was read in a Brunswick courthouse. “The question before the jury was whether they believed in a Georgia that is multiracial and multicultural where every person can live freely or whether they would affirm white supremacy.”
The case has captured national attention since the release of a video on social media in May 2020 showing three white men chasing down and killing a young black man trying to run away. At that point, nearly three months had gone by without any charges filed.