NEW YORK, NY — Demos President Taifa Smith Butler issued the following statement on Wednesday after defendants were found guilty for the 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia:
“As a mother and a Georgian, my heart is with Ahmaud Arbery’s family today. While this guilty verdict offers some small semblance of justice, the reality is that nothing will bring back Ahmaud Arbery. Three white men who saw an unarmed young Black man jogging chased and killed him in February 2020. The fact that his mere existence in their presence proved fatal dismantles the myth of a ‘postracial’ America.
“Despite today’s verdict, let us not forget the systemic failures that plagued this process. From police officers who initially claimed Travis McMichael engaged in no wrongdoing to a district attorney who interfered with McMichael’s arrest, the road to this guilty verdict had far too many barriers. The verdict came in spite of these flaws in the criminal legal system. As we continue to mourn Arbery’s death, we must work to expose the wrongs of this system, right them, and move toward becoming a land in which 74 days of protests isn’t the prerequisite for an arrest.”