Civil rights and personal injury lawyer Ben Crump said in a statement after a jury verdict found three men guilty in connection to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery that while Arbery's family “finally has some peace,” he also noted that “we are nowhere close to the finish line.”
“Nothing will bring back Ahmaud, but his family will have some peace knowing the men who killed him remain behind bars and can never inflict their brand of evil on another innocent soul,” Crump said.
On Wednesday, a jury in Georgia found the three men guilty in connection with Arbery's murder in February 2020. A jury convicted the man who shot Arbery, Travis McMichael, on each of the nine counts, including malice murder, that he was facing. His father, Gregory McMichael, was found guilty on eight counts that included felony murder and aggravated assault.
The man who recorded the shooting, William “Roddie” Bryan, was convicted on six counts, including felony murder and aggravated assault.
Crump said that while some justice had been delivered to Arbery’s family, it was not cause for celebration, “it is one for reflection.”
“This case, by all accounts, should have been opened and closed ... the violent stalking and lynching of Ahmaud Arbery was documented for video for the world to witness. But yet, because of the deep cracks, flaws, and biases in our systems, we were left to wonder if we would ever see justice,” Crump said in his statement. “Today certainly indicates progress, but we are nowhere close to the finish line.”
Other civil rights advocates, such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, agreed with the jury’s decision while noting the long road ahead for civil rights reforms.
“This is a step in the right direction in justice for Ahmaud Arbery, but the system is still broken and needs fixing,” Jackson said in a statement upon the jury’s decision.
The jury’s decision comes less than a week after a jury found Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager that fatally shot two protesters and wounded another during anti-police brutality protests last year in Kenosha, Wis., was found not guilty on all charges.