Marcus Ransom, foreman of the jury in the case against three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, was the only Black man on the panel. Like Arbery, he was raised in modest circumstances in a Deep South community where he learned what it feels like to be racially profiled. He suffered through his share of specious police stops and ugly looks from restaurant servers, reports the New York Times. Ransom, 35, heard evidence that the defendants considered Black people to be animals or savages, and even as he was forced to watch a video that showed Arbery bleeding on the pavement and gasping for breath as the three white defendants declined to offer him comfort or aid.
Ransom cried when the video footage was played in court. He cried when federal prosecutors showed another video one of the defendants had shared with a friend that cruelly mocked a young Black boy as he danced. “Just seeing that it was so much hatred that they had, not only for Ahmaud, but to other people of the Black race,” Ransom said. “It was a lot to take in.”. Ransom grew up in Columbus, Ga., 250 miles from Brunswick, Ga., where the trial was held. Arbery was killed outside of Brunswick in the suburb called Satilla Shores. Ransom had been a “knucklehead” as a youth, he said, not a lawbreaker, and he got serious as he got older. His mother’s Christian faith influenced him; she pushed him into college. After seeing many of his friends end up in legal trouble, he became a juvenile probation officer, thinking it was the best way he could make a difference. “