Following the controversial selection of a panel of eleven whites and one black man to decide the guilt or innocence of three whites accused of persecuting an African American in February 2020 Ahmed ArberryThe trial began this Friday with oral arguments between the parties while attending a sports training in the small town of Brunswick (Georgia, USA).
Although High Court Judge Timothy Walmsley acknowledges it Arbitration panel system “appears to be intentional discrimination”, Gregory McMichael, 65, his son Travis, 35, and his neighbor William Bryan, 52, are being tried in the southern state of Georgia. Arbery was charged with murder.
Gregory McMichael, his son Travis and their next-door neighbor Brian were charged with murder and other offenses after they chased and shot Arbury, 25, in February last year.
Within two and a half weeks of the jury selection, the defenders of the three whites opposed 11 of the 12 possible black jurors, which led to allegations of racial discrimination.
“After a white man was hunted down for being a black man in the Georgia neighborhood and shot dead in the corner, Ahmed Arbery was again denied justice.”, Ben Crumb, a civil rights lawyer condemned.
In Clin County, more than 26 percent of the 85,000 residents under investigation are black and 69 percent are white, according to 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
For his part, Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told First Coast News that she was “very surprised” that only one black referee was chosen, and that “it was devastating.”
Prosecutors challenged the removal of the eight black jurors, but the judge found that the defense attorneys had presented valid reasons for their dismissal.
On February 23, 2020, McMichaels chased 25-year-old Arbery into a van with guns. The other defendant, Brian, joined in the chase and recorded on his mobile phone that Travis McMichael shot the victim up close.
All three face charges of Premeditated murder and arson, As well as Violent assault and illegal seizure of liberty.
Part of the harassment was recorded on a 36-second video, released a few months after the incident, sparking waves of protests in the United States.
At the beginning of the oral arguments in this case, Attorney General Linda Dunikowski directed the video.
Defense prosecutors say none of the three committed any crime, the father and son suspected the African-American may have been a thief, and Travis McMichael fired in self-defense.
The prosecutor’s office raised “irrelevant” questions about the arrests of the accused, and asked the defense to declare the trial invalid because it was thought to have occurred more than two months after the murder. However, the trial judge dismissed the petition and decided to proceed with the trial.
The Clin County District Attorney’s Office said the process will end Nov. 19, but it has not been ruled out that it could be extended beyond that date.
Meanwhile, the suspects are being held on remand pending bail.
Another white jury
In another case of high-profile racism in Wisconsin, Kyle Rittenhouse – a white jury accused of shooting two protesters during national protests last year for “making fun” of a black man. By the police.
A retired white man jury has ridiculed a police officer who told the judge overseeing the Rittenhouse case, which prosecuted a 17-year-old man for shooting Jacob dead by police. Blake is an unarmed black man in Kenosha.
“One thing I understand is, ‘Why did Kenosha police shoot Jacob Blake seven times?'” Attorney Thomas Pinker, quoting the NPR, warned. I understand the joke ends by replying “because they ran out of bullets”.