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Biden says Ahmaud Arbery guilty verdicts ‘not enough,’ urges unity

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Nov 25, 2021 - 06:31 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that guilty verdicts for the three white men who murdered a 25-year-old Black man in Georgia reflect the US justice system “doing its job,” but noted that alone is “not enough.”

Biden said Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, which was recorded on a widely-circulated cellphone video taken by one of the men who was found guilty on Wednesday, “is a devastating reminder of how far we have to go in the fight for racial justice in this country.”

“While the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough,” the president said in a statement.

“Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the color of their skin. My administration will continue to do the hard work to ensure that equal justice under law is not just a phrase emblazoned in stone above the Supreme Court, but a reality for all Americans,” he added.

All of the men convicted of Arbery’s killing were charged with murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, attempted false imprisonment, and criminal contempt to commit a felony.

Travis McMichael, the man who fatally shot the 25-year-old Black man in the port city of Brunswick in February 2020, was found guilty by the predominantly white jury of all charges against him, including malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of false imprisonment and criminal contempt to commit a felony.

His father, Gregory McMichael, was found not guilty of malice murder, but was found guilty of all other charges. Their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, Jr., who joined in the pursuit and whose cellphone footage documented the tragedy, was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal contempt to commit a felony.

All three men still face federal hate crime charges in a trial expected to take place in early 2022.

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