When Ahmaud Arbery was killed, it was easy for many to figure the media had only given us part of the story. Then video surfaced and it became easier to see just what happened.
Kind of like the Kyle Rittenhouse case.
It was kind of appropriate that the two trials had such considerable overlap.
When Rittenhouse was acquitted, some argued that it was proof the system was biased in favor of white defendants, particularly if they simply claimed self-defense.
They might want to modify their tune today.
Jurors in Brunswick, Georgia, on Wednesday found Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael guilty on all counts, according to Judge Timothy Walmsley.
Jurors found Travis McMichael guilty of malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony.
The jury also found Greg McMichael guilty of four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. Jurors found him not guilty on charges of malice murder.
Finally, the jury found the McMichaels’ neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, guilty of felony murder and aggravated assault.
If anyone had a chance of walking, it was Bryan. He claimed he didn’t know what was happening until it was all over, basically throwing his co-defendants under the bus.
However, that clearly didn’t accomplish much for him.
Much like the aftermath of the Rittenhouse case, some will be less than happy with this verdict. I mean besides the three men looking at long prison sentences. However, also as with the Rittenhouse case, the jury ruled correctly.
Ahmaud Arbery may have grabbed for a shotgun, but this was after he was chased by two guys in a pickup, cut off from his path forward, and confronted by armed men. Much as I hate to say it, there’s also a racial element here. I’m not saying the three men were racist, but with constant media coverage talking about white people wanting black men dead, Arbery had every reason to believe his life was in danger.
So, he did what any of us would have done.
Had the men not chased Arbery, it would have been a different matter. Had they simply followed him and let the police handle it–recall that they believed Arbery may have been responsible for a number of burglaries in the neighborhood–then things would have been different.
Instead, they confronted Arbery and provoked him.
Now, they’re headed for prison, their life as they know it is essentially over.
In the process, we see that the supposedly racist criminal justice system that was decried repeatedly over the last couple of weeks is, in fact, a pretty good system that takes facts into account, but not the fact of whether someone is white or black. Rittenhouse walked because he was innocent.
This is an important reminder, folks. Even if Arbery had been breaking into people’s homes, you can’t give chase and initiate an armed confrontation with someone who is trying to get away from you. To do otherwise could land you in the same hot water these three are in.