FBI analyst details racist slurs used by Arbery killers

An FBI analyst testified in a federal hate crimes trial Wednesday that one of the three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020 used a racial slur to describe his daughter’s Black boyfriend, whom he did not approve of her dating, according to The Washington Post.

The FBI found messages from William “Roddie” Bryan, 52, using racial slurs, as well as racist online activity from Gregory McMichael, 65, and his son Travis McMichael, 36, who fatally shot Arbery.

Bryan said of his daughter’s Black boyfriend, “Yeah she has her n—-r now,” according to the Post. He also joked about serving as “grand marshal” of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, implying that he would never do that, and described the holiday as a “monkey parade.” Bryan called Black people the N-word and the racial slur “bootlip.”

Travis McMichael wrote a message that said he loved his job because “zero n——s work with me,” FBI intelligence analyst Amy Vaughan testified. McMichael said online that he had difficulty getting his commercial driver’s license because of “f—–g n—–s running the show.”

McMichael texted in a seemingly approving way of a Halloween costume dressing in blackface as Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager who was killed in 2012 and whose death largely precipitated the Black Lives Matter movement. McMichael also sent someone a video of a Black child that was dubbed over with a song called “Alabama N—–.”

Gregory McMichael reportedly shared a meme reading, “White Irish slaves were treated worse than any other race in the U.S.” It continued, “When was the last time you heard an Irishman bitching about how the world owes them a living?”

Arbery was chased and killed by the three white men while jogging; the three men, all of whom were convicted of murder, claimed they thought he was connected to neighborhood burglaries. Travis McMichael, the shooter, claimed self-defense despite Arbery being unarmed.

While the murder trial against the three men avoided direct allegations of racism, the federal trial is considering whether they were acting on the basis of Arbery’s race.

Vaughan said the FBI has been unable to break through the locks on Gregory McMichael’s phone but that they have found relevant information elsewhere online and on the phones of the other two defendants.


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