Contact: Martha Waggoner | [email protected]
Comments from Bishop William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, on the guilty verdicts Wednesday in the trial of the men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery:
Bishop William J. Barber II, PPC:NCMR co-chair and president of Repairers of the Breach:
“This is a good and powerful day for justice with three vicious killers convicted in the death of an unarmed Black man who was gunned because they thought he was running in the wrong place. But it’s a sad and ridiculous day that we even had to have a trial like this — that a person would be shot down in this way, that a life would be wasted in this way, that Ahmaud can’t be with his family.
“And it’s a complicated day because the mother and father had to fight vigilantly for the case to be heard. It’s not as if this case went straight to trial. And it’s a complicated day because we have to ask: What would have happened if the killers hadn’t been so arrogant in their racism that they would record the murder, thinking people would side with them? How would the defense have destroyed the character of Ahmaud if there had been no video? And so we have to really probe this and not just have an exuberance but a true examination of where we are, and how far we have to go in dealing with racial justice and violence.”
Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, PPC:NCMR co-chair and director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice in New York City:
“Ahmaud Arbery should be having Thanksgiving dinner with his family on Thursday, surrounded by love and joy. Instead, his family and friends will continue to grieve the loss of his precious life. The justice system in America has very little history of justice, especially for Black lives, and these verdicts, while hopefully offering some sense of relief for the Arbery family, are a drop in the bucket compared to the injustice hundreds of thousands face at the hands of this system every day.
“Today, we are reminded that we will never know true justice as long as we live in a country where white supremacy and systemic racism exists and violence and death is commonplace. Today, we hold the Arbery family in prayer and pray for a future in which every person truly has the right to live.”