Racism is at the forefront in the federal trial for the three men who were convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery. Prosecutors have combed through the lives of Travis, his father Greg McMichael, and neighbor William Bryan. Now, all three men are being exposed for their racism in front of a federal jury.
The biggest difference in the federal and state trials focuses on motive. Was the killing of Arbery racially motivated and did the defendants violate Arbery’s civil rights? Federal prosecutors will try to prove this by showing the jury the three men were racists and that played a huge part in why they killed Arbery. Here is a list of all the racist things the three men have said that are now being exposed in federal court.
During opening statements in the federal trial prosecutors laid out examples from text messages where all three men used racial slurs and made racially insensitive comments leading up to Ahmaud Arbery’s death. Defense attorneys for the three men had no choice but to admit their clients used racial slurs in the past, but said their words had no barring over their decision to approach Arbery the night they killed him.
According to prosecutors, they will prove that Travis McMichael texted a friend that he loved his job because “zero n——rs work with me.” They also have a testimony that McMichael said while watching a video of a Black man playing with fireworks, “It’d be cooler if it blew the f—-ing n——r’s head off.”
His father Greg McMichael had also been heard using insensitive racial remarks when speaking to a former co-worker. Prosecutors claim Greg said during a conversation about the death of Julian Bond, “Those Blacks are all nothing but trouble.”
Prosecutors also allege neighbor William Bryan was upset when he learned that his daughter was dating a Black man and said she, “has her n——-r now.”
During the investigation in Arbery’s murder, it was reported that William Bryan told authorities he heard Travis McMichael use a racial slur after shooting Arbery, but McMichael’s lawyer denied any slurs were made.
In the federal case, prosecutors will try to prove the three men violated Arbery’s rights when they willfully interfered with his right to jog on a public road. Arbery was Black and all three defendants are white. Prosecutors will have to prove they violated his rights because of his race.
On Nov. 24, Gregory and Travis McMichael, as well as William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted of felony murder and other charges in state court for the Feb. 2020 murder of Arbery. The 25-year-old Arbery was jogging through the Brunswick, GA neighborhood when the McMichales attempted a citizen’s arrest. All three men were federally charged with hate crimes and attempted kidnapping by the Justice Department.