Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Three white men have been charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was shot dead in Georgia last year.

A jury in the United States has begun debating whether three white men are guilty of murder in the case of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was fatally shot while running through a mostly white neighborhood last year.

The 12-member jury in Brunswick, Georgia, began deliberations on Tuesday. after a trial of 13 days during which more than two dozen witnesses testified.

Travis McMichael, 35, the only defendant who took over the witness stand during the proceedings, said he fired with his shotgun at Arbery. self defense.

McMichael; his father, Gregory McMichael (65), and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan (52), pleaded not guilty to charges including murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment for Arbery’s murder in the coastal suburb of Satilla Shores on February 23, 2020.

Dozens of Black Lives Matter and Black Panther protesters gathered outside the Glynn County Courthouse on Monday [Stephen B Morton/AP Photo]

Arbery’s murder became part of a larger view of racial injustice in the US after a graphic video of his death leaked online two months later. He was an avid jogger and was running through a suburb of Brunswick, a coastal community 480 km (300 miles) southeast of Atlanta, when he was chased by the accused and shot dead.

The jury’s hearing begins days after a separate jury in the state of Wisconsin was acquitted. Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges related to a deadly shooting of racial justice protesters last year in Kenosha. Rittenhouse, who claimed self-defense, killed two protesters and wounded a third.

Both trials highlighted divisions among Americans over firearms, racism and vigilance.

Judge Timothy Walmsley of the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the jury of 11 white men and women and one Black man in the law governing the Arbery case after Chief Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski delivered a final two-hour-long rebuttal against defense attorneys’ closing arguments.

Dunikoski asked the jurors to convict all three accused of all the charges and argued the defense was looking to blame the 25-year-old Arbery for his own death.

“Standard good: harm the victim, it’s the victim’s fault,” Dunikoski told the jury. “I know you are not going to buy with it. It’s offensive. “

Defendant’s lawyers argued vehemently over how the judge would explain the Civil Arrest Act at the heart of the defense. They repeatedly objected on Tuesday to what they said was a misinterpretation of the law by the prosecutor.

Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski on Tuesday delivered a two-hour rebuttal of defense attorneys’ closing arguments. [Stephen B Morton/Pool via AP]

Walmsley told the jury that someone could only make a citizen’s arrest of a person if a crime had taken place “in his presence or within his immediate knowledge”.

The judge said such a warrant-free arrest should take place “immediately after the commission of the offense or, in the case of crimes, during escape”. If the person fails to make the arrest immediately after the crime is committed, or during the escape if the crime is a crime, then “his power to do so has been erased,” the judge said.

The defense argued that the defendants had a right and a neighboring obligation to jump in their pickups and chase Arbery to detain him under the law because they had reason to believe he was possibly connected to previous property crimes affecting the neighborhood on the edge.

The law was repealed after Bryan’s cell phone video of the shooting caused outrage.

No evidence has ever emerged that Arbery ever stole anything on his regular runs by Satilla Shores. He was killed with nothing on him except his jogging clothes and sneakers.

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