Ahmaud Arbery committed the crime of jogging in a neighborhood where three white men decided he didn’t belong. The three men reportedly chased him down and killed him. Now those men, who decided Arbery’s fate on Feb. 23, 2020, are set to face trial.
Jury selection began Monday in Georgia in what could be a long-ass trial.
According to the Associated Press, hundreds of people were ordered to report for jury duty and the process of sorting through all of these folks to find jurors to hear the trial of “father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan are charged with murder and other crimes.”
Just the jury selection could possibly take two weeks or even more.
“This is 2021, and it’s time for a change,” Marcus Arbery Sr., Ahmaud’s father said. “We need to be treated equally and get fair justice as human beings, because we’ve been treated wrong so long.”
Marcus Arbery added that he’s praying for an impartial panel and a fair trial noting that Black victims rarely receive justice.
Before the selection process begins, Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley first planned a morning hearing to address legal issues that must be resolved before the trial starts.
Court officials in Glynn County mailed jury-duty notices to 1,000 people, expecting a potentially slow process to find jurors in a community where the slaying dominated news coverage and swamped social media feeds.
The case will be followed closely outside Georgia too. Arbery’s killing stoked outrage in the summer of 2020 during a period of national protests over racial injustice. More than two months passed before the McMichaels and Bryan were charged and jailed, only after the video of the shooting leaked online and state investigators took over the case from local police.
On the day Arbery was killed, prosecutors claim he was out for a run when the McMichaels saw a Black man running, and of course that meant he was up to something, so they grabbed guns and chased him in a pickup truck. AP notes that “Bryan joined the pursuit in his own truck and recorded the now-infamous cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery three times at close range with a shotgun.”
Defense attorneys claim that the three men did nothing wrong. Yes, the three men who aren’t police officers decided that Arbery had burglarized a home that was under construction, and they were going to confront him about it. The three non-cops grabbed the guns in self-defense and only shot Arbery after they confronted him with weapons. They claim they shot the unarmed man in self-defense.
Meanwhile, actual investigators have noted that they “found no evidence of crimes by Arbery in the Satilla Shores subdivision.”
For the TL;DR crowd: Three white men chased and confronted an unarmed Black man. One of the white men shot and killed him, and jury selection for the trial of the three white men is underway, and that could take a long time.