Ahmaud Arbery’s killers posted racism like the klan and formed a lynch mob like the klan, but now claim the murder wasn’t a hate crime.
Someone cue the world’s smallest violin for the three white men who didn’t get away with murdering Arbery for jogging while Black. It’s not enough that Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and his neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan are alive while an innocent man is dead. They want to insult everyone’s intelligence to claim that their blatant racism had nothing to do with the murder. TIME reports that the convicted killers filed to overturn their hate crime conviction, claiming their racist pasts weren’t racist motives.
The men were found guilty of first-degree murder, and each was sentenced to life in 2021. Last year, right before the second anniversary of Ahmaud’s death, a federal hate crime conviction added even more time to their sentences. A federal jury found the men guilty of hunting down Ahmaud for his Blackness based on dozens of anti-Black texts and social media posts. Now their attorneys are challenging the very nature of hate crime charges.
Ahmaud Arbery’s Killers Claim It Wasn’t A Hate Crime Just Because They’re Documented Racists
“Every crime committed against an African American by a man who has used racist language in the past is not a hate crime,” said Bryan’s defense attorney Pete Theodocion said in an appellate brief.
BOSSIP previously reported that Bryan and the McMichaels planned to weasel their way out of the federal convictions. They wanted to appeal on the technicality that prosecutors hadn’t “proven” their racism. Sounds about white.
“The Government also failed to supply the jury with any evidence that Defendant Gregory McMichael associated African Americans with criminality,” his defense attorney said. “In fact, during a career in law enforcement spanning over two decades, the Government provided absolutely no evidence that Defendant Gregory McMichael displayed racist attitudes in the presence of coworkers, subordinates, and supervisors.
While trying to disprove racism, defense attorneys have relied on multiple racist standbys, like claiming Arbery just fit the description. Greg initiated the chase just because Arbery had walked through a home under construction. There was no proof that he stole or did anything wrong besides trespassing, which doesn’t justify the deadly attack.
“The fact that Mr. Arbery was Black was merely a characteristic shared with the person seen on the security footage, a fact of no greater import to Gregory McMichael’s calculus than Mr. Arbery’s biological sex, the shorts he was wearing, his hairstyle, or his tattoos. Mr. Arbery’s race was only relevant because it matched the race of the man on the home security footage,” the appeal said.
What’s not racist about assuming the one Black man you see jogging must be a criminal or that they have a right to shoot him? The killers claim it’s somehow unrelated to their documented racist beliefs.
“Evidence that a criminal defendant has previously espoused racist views is the most prejudicial evidence imaginable, and for good reason is almost never allowed in criminal trials. There was no evidence presented that Bryan intended to deprive Arbery of his right to use a public roadway, and none that he acted with conscious intent because of Arbery’s race or color,” the appeal continued.
This is in defense of the same man who joined and filmed the hunt like a modern-day lynching postcard. This was fun and games among good ol’ boys. Travis, who fired the fatal shots, even admitted that Arbery did nothing to threaten or attack the men; He just ran for his life. The appeal even blamed Arbery for not acting like a victim.
“Arbery never called out for help or gave any signs that he was the victim of an unprovoked attack,” Theodocion wrote.
Hell isn’t hot enough for these men and their defenders. Even their objections to the hate crime charges are racist.
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