Tag Archives: Racism

Updates on the Arbery Trial: Vanity Plates and Jailhouse Conversations

Blog #4: Ahmaud Arbery: Updates

Updates on the trial of the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery.

The judge in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case has ruled that recordings made of jailhouse phone calls of the three white men who chased Arbery down and killed him in the street, will not be excluded in the trial.  The defense had argued to exclude the calls.  (Court TV, 10/13/21)

         Depending on what is on the tapes, this could be a blow to the defense.  But, the ruling is no surprise.  There are signs all over the place in jails an prisons warning inmates that their conversations are being recorded.  You would have to be a fool, or someone who thought that you were not subject to the rules or the law, to ignore the warnings and conduct incriminating conversations over the telephone. 

         Anyone who watches trials or court news will remember the revealing conversations between Kasey Anthony and her parents while she was incarcerated.  Anthony did not admit her guilt, but her behavior was enough to raise serious questions about her stability and responsibility.  But, as watchers of court news also know, she was found not guilty.

The Confederate Vanity Plate

         Similarly, defense attorneys are trying to exclude a photograph of Travis McMichael’s truck that shows his confederate flag vanity plate.  While prosecutors have reportedly said that they will not introduce evidence of racial motivation in their case in chief, they have said nothing about introducing such information in their rebuttal case. 

         A defense attorney interviewed by the Atlanta Journal Constitution has argued that the defendants are likely to testify since the task for defense attorneys has to be to make these men human and understandable.  If one of the men claims that he had no racial bias or animus, this opens the door for the prosecution to introduce evidence that demonstrates racism (Atlanta Journal Constitution

The same defense attorney, commenting as an expert, argued that she thought the introduction of the vanity plate as evidence would be highly prejudicial to Travis McMichaels.  I am not so sure.  Growing up in Georgia, I would guess that jurors have seen these confederate symbols all their lives and know people who have displayed them.  I am not sure that the presence of the symbol on McMichael’s truck will be that influential.  I am not arguing that it should not be, just that I am not sure it will be.

Ahmaud Arbery Trial: Glynn County, Georgia

Ahmaud Arbery

Blog #3

Case of Police Violence

Gregory McMichael was an investigator for the DA’s office for more than 20 years and was a Glynn County police officer for seven years before that.  He retired in May of 2019. 

When Gregory McMichaels saw a young man jogging past his house, he called to his son.  They immediately armed themselves, jumped in a pick up truck, and drove after Arbery.  They cut him off in the street with their truck and the truck of a neighbor who (of couse) saw the chase and joined in. They shot and killed Arbery in the street.

Three men, saw a black man jogging past their houses, armed themselves and gave chase.  Defense attorneys plan to argue that information Arbery was on probation should be admitted to the trial because that information explains why Arbery ran from the men.

First, Arbery was already running.  He was jogging.  He wasn’t in the beginning running FROM anybody.  Second, the fact that he kept running and did not stop does not necessarily mean he was running FROM the three men.  Third, Arbery had no obligation to stop running because someone ordered him to.  Even if you concede that Arbery was running FROM the men at some point in the chase, what of it?  I am a 71 year old white woman and I would have run from three white men (two of them armed) in pick up trucks who were driving after me and trying to cut me off when I was walking down a residential street. Third, none of these men could have known that Arbery was on probation, and even if they did, they had no right to stop him. 

Greg McMichaels has agued that he thought Arbery was a man who had burglarized a house in the area that was under construction.  But the owner of the house had access to all the video from the site.  The owner did not phone the police or become concerned about anything he saw on the videos.  So, who does Greg McMichaels think he is to try to hold a man even if he entered the house site?  Second, there is video of various people walking in and out of the house site.  Why is Arbery considered different from the other people (white) who entered the construction site?  Third, McMichaels has provided no evidence to demonstrate why he thought Arbery was one of the people on the video tape who had entered the house.   

It is obvious that Gregory McMichaels still considered himself active law enforcement, able to chase, stop and detain other people at will. And, also McMichaels also thought he was perfectly within his rights to arm himself and chase down another human being. None of the men saw Arbery commit any crime. They saw a black man in a predominately white neighborhood and assumed he had committed a crime. They armed themselves and hunted him down and killed him in the street.

A GBI investigator testified that Travis McMichaels used the N word in the conversation that occurred with the police officers who arrived on the scene of Arbery’s killing.  

Ahmaud Arbery

Blog #1 “What is he doing wrong?”

On a Sunday afternoon, February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery jogged through a neighborhood in Glynn County, Georgia.  He had jogged in the neighborhood before.

But this jog ended with a retired police investigator, Greg McMichaels, and his son Travis, arming themselves and jumping into their pickup truck to pursue Arbery.  Travis McMichaels shot Arbery in the street and killed him.

For nearly three months, police, prosecutors, and press DID NOTHING.  Only when a video of the killing surfaced on social media was national attention focused on the case and the inaction of the local authorities. 

Another man in the Satilla Shores neighborhood where the killing took place, phoned 911 about Arbery jogging.  After a few seconds, the caller said, obviously excited: “He’s running now” referring to Arbery.  The 911 operator asked: “What is he doing?”  Then, she asked: “I just need to know what he was doing wrong.”

That is the question we are all left with.  Your answer to that question says as much about you as it does about the people involved.   

Every citizen needs to listen to “Buried Truths,” the podcast about the murder of Ahmaud Arbery based on an investigation conducted by members of Emory University.

“I just need to know what he was doing wrong.” 

essential podasts: ahmaud arbery. “I just need to know what he was doing wrong.”

https://www.wabe.org/shows/buried-truths/

On a Sunday afternoon, February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery jogged through a neighborhood in Glynn County, Georgia.  He had jogged in the neighborhood before.

But, this jog ended with a retired police investigator and his son, Greg and Travis McMichaels, jumping into their pick up truck and pursuing Arbery.  They shot Arbery in the street and killed him.

For nearly three months, the police, prosecutors, and press DID NOTHING.  Only when a video of the killing surfaced on social media was national attention focused on the case and the total lack of action about the murder. 

Another man in the Satilla shores neighborhood phoned 911 about Arbery jogging.  After a few seconds, the caller said: “He’s running now” referring to Arbery.  The 911 operator asked:    “What is he doing?”  Then, she asked: “I just need to know what he was doing wrong.” 

Every citizen of this country needs to listen to the podcast about the murder of Ahmaud Arbery based on an investigation conducted by members of Emory University.

“I just need to know what he was doing wrong.” 

GEORGIA KILLING: Aubrey

video

This is a video of the cars parked along HWY 17 in Brunswick , Georgia.  These brave people gathered to protest the government inaction in the case of the killing of Ahmaud Aubrey.  These people gathered in front of the house of Gregory McMichael who along with his son armed himself and pursued Aubrey through their neighborhood, finally shooting and killing him.

When a team from CNN was later filming at the same location, automatic weapon fire was heard in the background.

The two men were finally arrested after two months of inaction and shifting the responsibility for the case around rural Georgia.