Ahmaud Arbery’s killers sentenced on federal hate crimes charges

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The three white men who killed Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man slain while out for a jog in 2020, were sentenced Monday (August 8th) on federal hate crime charges, CNN reports.

Father and son Gregory, 66, and Travis McMichael, 36, were sentenced to life in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood.

On top of their life sentences, Travis McMichael, who took the fatal shot against Arbery, was sentenced to an added 10 years, and Wood gave Gregory an additional seven years.

Their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan also received a 420-month sentence for federal hate crime on Monday.

Both McMichaels and Bryan are already serving life sentences on state murder charges in Arbery’s death.

“A young man is dead. Ahmaud Arbery will be forever 25. And what happened a jury found happened because he’s Black,” Wood said as she handed down the sentences.

News of the sentencing comes after the three men were found guilty in February of interference with rights and attempted kidnapping in connection with Arbery’s murder. A jury determined that the McMichaels and Bryan violated Arbery’s civil rights and targeted the 25-year-old Black man because of his race.

Gregory and Travis McMichael were also found guilty of using and carrying a gun during and in relation to a crime of violence.

On February 23, 2020, the father and son grabbed guns and chased after Arbery in a truck while he was jogging in their Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood.

Bryan joined the chase in his own truck, blocked Arbery’s escape, and recorded as Travis McMichael shot Arbery at close range.

Attorneys for the McMichaels and Bryan argued that their pursuit wasn’t race-based but was spurred out of suspicion that Arbery had committed crimes in their neighborhood.

Federal prosecutors, however, provided evidence that they said proved the men killed Arbery out of racial animus, which included their repeated use of racial slurs and discriminatory characterization of alleged Black criminals.

Arbery’s death sparked a larger nationwide racial reckoning over the killing of unarmed Black people including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

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