Celebrities from the world of music, TV and film have reacted to the guilty verdicts of the three white men who murdered unarmed Black man Ahmaud Arbery.
Arbery was out on a jog in February 2020 in Georgia, US where he was chased and killed by Travis McMicheal, his father Greg McMichael and their neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan.
The incident led to racial justice protests that were heightened by the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer the following month.
The criminals in the Arbery case had claimed without evidence that the 25-year-old was involved in a spate of neighbourhood burglaries and said they were acting in self-defence.
All three men were convicted today (November 24) after the jury returned unanimous decisions in court in south Georgia [via The Guardian].
Travis, who shot Arbery three times with a pump action shotgun, was convicted on all nine counts, including charges of malice and felony murder.
Greg McMichael was convicted on eight of the nine counts including felony murder, and Bryan, who pursued Arbery in a separate vehicle and was not carrying a firearm, was convicted on six of nine counts, also including the charge of felony murder.
Figures from the entertainment world have now shared their thoughts on the news.
Hip-hop legend Chuck D posted a string of celebratory emojis on his Instagram, linking to a Washington Post report on the verdicts.
Actress Viola Davis wrote on Twitter: “As it should be. To Wanda….Ahmaud Arbery’s mother….. your son mattered. His life mattered. I pray this brings you a tiny shred of peace. To the jurors…..huge gratitude for doing right. The pendulum of justice swung in the right direction!!!!!!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️🙏🏿🙏🏿”
As it should be. To Wanda….Ahmaud Arbery’s mother….. your son mattered. His life mattered. I pray this brings you a tiny shred of peace. To the jurors…..huge gratitude for doing right. The pendulum of justice swung in the right direction!!!!!!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️🙏🏿🙏🏿 https://t.co/BY6V2gT9qo
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) November 24, 2021
Elsewhere, actress Jameela Jamil posted: “Justice” with a thumbs-up emoji while re-tweeting a CNN news report.
Justice. 👍🏽 https://t.co/0D2Td474Mv
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) November 24, 2021
Singer Ciara paid tribute to Arbery by posting a sepia-toned image of him. Rapper D-Nice made a similar gesture by sharing what appeared to be an old prom photo of Arbery.
— Ciara (@ciara) November 24, 2021
Rapper and BET TV host Big Tigger posted hashtags “#GUILTY #JusticeServed #MoreWorkToDo #AhmaudArbery” on his Instagram, while rapper Mr Cheeks of Lost Boyz wrote: “I was scared they was going to walk. So use to disappointment with these things. God is good.”
Singer Lloyd wrote alongside an illustration of Arbery: “Justice for this young man and his family helps to ease the pain this morning but could never fill the void that comes with loss of life”. Mysonne also reflected on the news in a video captioned: “Guilty As Fuck!!!!”
TV personality Shannon Sharpe and actor Michael Rapaport also shared their thoughts, with the latter writing: “GUILTY on everything. Sick animals. Father & Son sick fkcs!!!! They look so harmless in glasses and suits right? #ahmaudarbery 🖤🖤”
You can see more reactions at the bottom of the page.
Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, addressed reporters and supporters outside the court earlier today. “It’s been a long fight, it’s been a hard fight, but God is good,” she said.
“To tell you the truth I never saw this day in 2020, I did not think this day would come… Thank you, thank you for those who marched. Thank you to those who prayed.” She continued: “He [Ahmaud Arbery] will now rest in peace.”
Sentencing is to be scheduled for a later date. All three men face the possibility of life behind bars.
The jam https://t.co/n2u8GaCibJ
— Ebro (@oldmanebro) November 24, 2021
Well, they got this one right. Evil, sick men. https://t.co/sF2CehKSP3
— Joy Taylor (@JoyTaylorTalks) November 24, 2021
Source: Music News – NME