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Ahmaud Arbery Verdict: President Biden, New York Leaders React After 3 Men Found Guilty Of Murder

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Reactions came swiftly Wednesday after the jury reached a verdict in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.

Travis McMichael, who prosecutors said fired the fatal shots, was convicted on all counts, including malice murder. His father, Gregory McMichael, and neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, were found guilty of felony murder and other charges.

President Joe Biden said in a statement, "Nothing can bring Mr. Arbery back to his family and to his community, but the verdict ensures that those who committed this horrible crime will be punished."

"Ahmaud Arbery's killing – witnessed by the world on video – is a devastating reminder of how far we have to go in the fight for racial justice in this country. Mr. Arbery should be here today, celebrating the holidays with his mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, and his father, Marcus Arbery. Nothing can bring Mr. Arbery back to his family and to his community, but the verdict ensures that those who committed this horrible crime will be punished," his statement read.

"While the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job, that alone is not enough. Instead, we must recommit ourselves to building a future of unity and shared strength, where no one fears violence because of the color of their skin. My administration will continue to do the hard work to ensure that equal justice under law is not just a phrase emblazoned in stone above the Supreme Court, but a reality for all Americans."

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called the verdict a "moment of justice."

"Today's verdict is a moment of justice for Ahmaud Arbery and his family, but there's a long road ahead. To honor Ahmaud's memory, we must recommit ourselves to building a fairer, more just state and nation and to fighting systemic racism," she tweeted.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said "justice has prevailed."

"Ahmaud Arbery went for a run and never returned home because of the actions of three racist white men," he tweeted. "This verdict can never undo the anguish the Arbery family has experienced, but at least justice has prevailed. Thank you to the jury for holding these dangerous men accountable."

Mayor-elect Eric Adams released a statement, saying:

"Nothing can bring back Ahmaud Arbery, but today in Georgia, justice was served to the people who murdered him. My thoughts are with Mr. Arbery's family today. I want to also recognize the courageous work of the activists who called attention to this case. Without their efforts, Mr. Arbery's killers might have never been held accountable."

New York Attorney General Letitia James tweeted, "Today, justice was served."

"I pray that the Arbery family can find some semblance of peace and that we continue to march forward towards justice for all," she said.

Sen. Chuck Schumer reacted on Twitter, saying, "This is a step forward in Ahmaud Arbery's family receiving the justice they deserve. He should still be alive today. One single verdict in a single trial will never be enough."

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams released the following statement:

"I still haven't watched the footage of Ahmaud Arbery's murder. I still can't. But today I watched a semblance of justice. Ahmaud Arbery was killed, his life stolen, in a racist act of gun violence. That doesn't change. But with some measure of accountability today, I pray for some measure of comfort for his family, and some measure of change for the country that saw him killed for the crime of being a Black man in America.

"Being a Black man in America is also reflected in the absurd dread of waiting for this verdict and being in doubt of its outcome even in the face of overwhelming evidence, hoping for justice but not expecting it. Because we've been here before, so many times, and seen justice denied – seen our humanity denied. We must continue the work of uprooting old systems until the expectation is not justice denied but justice delivered, until we can truly be okay."

Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, echoed the mayor, telling CBS2 through her attorney, "justice prevailed."

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. tweeted, "Ahmaud Arbery should be alive. #BlackLivesMatter"

Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was shot to death in February 2020 while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia.


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