Arbery was an avid jogger who often ran through the neighborhood, his family has said. His death, along with those of other Black Americans at the hands of police, helped prompt the summer 2020 protests against mistreatment of Black people by authorities. A GBI agent has testified that Travis McMichael had been heard calling Arbery the N-word, as he stood over the dying’s body man in the street.
A Glynn County detective initially told Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones that her son had been killed while “involved in a robbery,” Cooper-Jones has said. “This investigator was actually comfortable enough to come to my home to tell me something he knew that wasn’t true.”
The case led to Georgia enacting hate crime legislation last year. Gov. Brian Kemp, joined by a bipartisan group of supporters as he signed the measure into law, called it a crucial step toward righting a historical wrong.
“It’s a sign of progress and it’s a milestone worth applauding,” he said.