In the federal hate crime trial of the three killers of Ahmaud Arbery, the jury of eight whites, three Blacks and one Hispanic will hear opposing views to determine whether the three men targeted Arbery because he is Black. The three men had shared racist memes on social media, including some using the N-word, mocking Martin Luther King Jr., downplaying slavery and even threatening violence, says to the Associated Press. Someone who served under Travis McMichael in the Coast Guard said he ridiculed her for dating a black man.
The McMichaels' defense team assert that they believed that Arbery had been committing crimes in their neighborhood and plead not guilty. Before the shooting, security cameras recorded Arbery several times inside a home under construction a few doors from the McMichaels’ house. Greg McMichael told police he recognized Arbery as he came running out of the same unfinished house the day of the shooting. The security videos showed Arbery taking nothing from the construction site. The three men have already been sentenced to life in prison for killing the black jogger in 2020, with Bryan receiving possibility of parole after 30 years. Legal experts point out that it is harder to prove motivation in hate crime trials than murder. The defense did not dispute any of the messages and rested their case after one witness Friday.