Monday marks the start of jury selection in the murder trial of Gregory and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, the three white men who should rot under the jail after “allegedly” causing the death of Ahmaud Arbery by deciding to play redneck Batman instead of letting law enforcement do its job or, better yet, just leaving a Black man who was not bothering them TF alone.
The trio of Klan-ish vigilantes hasn’t been convicted of anything yet, but nothing about the timeline of events leading up to all three of their arrests indicates that Arbery was a threat to anyone, or that it was right or necessary for them to take up arms, hop in their lynch-a-negro-mobiles, relentlessly chase the 26-year-old around their Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood, block him from leaving said neighborhood and ultimately shoot him dead.
Now, the video showing the shooting and part of the encounter leading up to it—which Greg McMichael leaked his damn self, likely because he knew America to be a nation where a white man killing a Black man and calling him a criminal to justify it is guaranteed the benefit of the doubt—is expected to be as central to this murder case as the video of Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd was.
“There’s a lot of similarities,” Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara said of the Arbery case, according to the New York Times. “You have somebody who was watching after their neighborhood, if you want to use that generic phrase, and saw somebody who they thought didn’t belong there and took it within their own hands to do something about it.”
Uh, no, O’Mara, we do not want to use your “generic phrase” that passive-aggressively describes the McMichaels as innocent citizens “watching after their neighborhood.”
O’Mara is, however, right about the accused being just like his former client in spotting a Black person in their neighborhood, deciding he “didn’t belong there” and following the KKK’s guide to law and order.
According to the Times, defense attorneys are expected to argue mainly that Travis acted in self-defense after Arbery tried to take his shotgun away causing the shooter to be “in fear of being shot himself.” Because only in a world where caucasity knows no bounds is it plausible that white men can spend significant time chasing around an unarmed Black man then claim self-defense when their target stops running away from them with no other option left than to stand his own ground. (Also, see Trayvon and Zimmerman.)
The defense is also expected to cite Georgia’s recently repealed citizens arrest law as a legal justification for the deadly pursuit.
Ronald L. Carlson, a professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, told the Times the defense will be “trying to convince the jury that these folks honestly believed that there was a burglary suspect running in the neighborhood.”
Carlson also noted that, under the citizens arest law, a private citizen could arrest someone only if a felony is committed in their presence “or within his immediate knowledge,” and that the person making the arrest must have “reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.”
In other words: “A Black guy was at a construction site. Hey, there’s a Black guy jogging!” shouldn’t be enough to cut it.
But hey, what other strategy could the defense possibly run with when attempts to put Arbery on trial for his own murder keep getting shot down by the judge?
Anyway, according to USA Today, some 600 potential jurors were ordered to show up for jury selection, so the process of selecting which of them will serve on the case is expected to be lengthy.
We’re in for another long, frustrating, and emotional uphill battle for justice, folks.