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"We just came out to witness history."

All three men who were involved in the murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Aubrey were found guilty of murder. Though the murder occurred in February of 2020, it was until May that the case began to get attention after a video of the shooting went viral. There was outrage, accompanied by protests, that continued throughout the summer along with outrage for the death of George Floyd.

To quickly recap in case you are unfamiliar with the incident, Aubrey, a Black man, was running through a neighborhood, empty-handed, when he was chased by three white strangers. This is when they shot him, which was captured on video and later released to the public. Now, all three men will serve life in prison, though we are waiting to see if the sentence will include the chance of parole or not.

Though many are happy to hear that all three were convicted, many were concerned that if the video had not been released, the men would still be free. This was concerning to many, obviously, and many are pointing out the injustice of the criminal system. Many gathered outside the courthouse, where Arbery’s mother thanked the crowd. Additionally, the prosecutors did not use racism as motivation for the murder, but federal authorities charged them with hate crimes. This will go on trial in February, as the authorities believed the men hunted down Arbery because he was Black, though their defense was that they believed he was running away from a burglary.

As mentioned, many believe that justice has been rightfully served, but not without problems. For instance, an attorney for one of the men who stood on trial told the judge that he did not want any more Black pastors to stay in the courtroom. This was referring to Rev. Al Sharpton, who stayed with Arbery’s family during the court for comfort. The attorney claimed that this could be an attempt of intimidation towards the jury, who were not in the room when these claims were made. In addition, some believed the jury was disproportionally white, including the prosecutors who tried to object. And though the judge believed that there seemed to be “intentional discrimination” when selecting jurors, there was not anything he could do, due to Georgia law.

The reverend, Sharpton, and others invited over 100 Black pastors to pray, and in a statement noted that “Let the word go forth all over the world that a jury of 11 whites and one black, in the Deep South, stood up in the courtroom and said that Black lives do matter.”