Court Battles

Father, son request acquittal on hate crimes convictions in Ahmaud Arbery’s murder

The father and son found guilty of murdering Ahmaud Arbery and convicted of federal hate crime charges are requesting that the outcomes of their hate crime trials are acquitted.

Gregory and Travis McMichael filed motions for acquittal, arguing that federal hate crime laws only apply to public spaces and that the fatal shooting of Arbery in February 2020 occurred on a private street in Brunswick, Ga., according to NBC News.

Travis McMichael’s lawyer said the county never “expressly accepted the dedication” of the street.

His father Gregory McMichael’s request for acquittal made the same case regarding the area where Arbery was shot while also challenging the jury’s conclusion that he was following Arbery because he was Black, according to NBC News.

The motion reportedly contends that prosecutors “failed to demonstrate that Defendant Gregory McMichael harbored any specific animus toward Mr. Arbery.” This comes after testimony during the trial showed that McMichael had been racist towards Black individuals — one witness said he at one point said “he wished all Black people were dead.”

The request also juxtaposed his case next to his son’s, arguing that prosecutors proved that Travis McMichael had said racial slurs, but not the elder of the two, according to the network.

“The Government also failed to supply the jury with any evidence that Defendant Gregory McMichael associated African Americans with criminality,” his motion reads, according to NBC News.

“In fact, during a career in law enforcement spanning over two decades, the Government provided absolutely no evidence that Defendant Gregory McMichael displayed racist attitudes in the presence of coworkers, subordinates, and supervisors,” the motion adds.

The requests for acquittal come after the McMichaels and William “Roddie” Bryan, the man who filmed Arbery’s fatal shooting, were convicted of federal hate crime charges last month.

In November, a jury found the three guilty of murder.

The three men chased Arbery through their Georgia neighborhood before Travis McMichael ultimately shot Arbery, which was caught on camera by Bryan.

Tags Ahmaud Arbery Georgia Gregory McMichael Murder of Ahmaud Arbery Travis McMichael
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