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3 white men found guilty of the murder of black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in US

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Three white men were found guilty of murder yesterday for shooting dead an African American man after chasing him in their pickup trucks, following a racially-charged trial in the southern US state of Georgia.

Travis McMichael, who shot Ahmaud Arbery; his father Gregory McMichael; and their neighbour, William “Roddie” Bryan, who took part in the chase, were all convicted of multiple counts of murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

A predominantly-white jury in Brunswick, Georgia, deliberated for less than 12 hours over two days before delivering their verdicts.

Travis McMichael, 35, Gregory McMichael, 65, a retired police officer, and Bryan, 52, face potential life in prison for the February 2020 shooting of the 25-year-old Arbery.

A crowd erupted in cheers outside the courthouse as the verdict was announced, chanting: “Say his name. Ahmaud Arbery!”

“Today is a good day,” Arbery’s father, Marcus, told the gathering. “I don’t want to see no daddy watch their kid get lynched and shot down like that.”

President Joe Biden hailed the verdict, but said “hard work” remains in combating racism in America.

“Ahmaud Arbery’s killing — witnessed by the world on video — is a devastating reminder of how far we have to go in the fight for racial justice in this country,” Biden said.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, who attended the trial along with Jesse Jackson, another prominent civil rights leader, also welcomed the verdict.

“Let the word go forth all over the world that a jury of 11 white, one black, in the Deep South, stood up in the courtroom and said, ‘Black lives do matter,’ “ Sharpton said.

There was only one black juror on the panel that heard the case, although about 25 per cent of the 85,000 residents of Glynn County are black.

“The spirit of Ahmaud defeated a lynch mob,” said Ben Crump, an attorney for Arbery’s father.

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said she “never thought this day would come.. But God is good. Thank you for those who marched, for those who prayed.”

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