Arbery's mother: 'He will now rest in peace' after verdict

Ahmaud Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones breaks down after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)
Caption
Ahmaud Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones breaks down after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

After three men were convicted in the murder of her son, Ahmaud Arbery’s mother said she never thought she’d see the day come

After three men were convicted of murder for the death her son, Ahmaud Arbery's mother said Wednesday that she never thought she'd see the day come.

“It’s been a long fight. It’s been a hard fight. But God is good,” Wanda Cooper-Jones told a crowd gathered outside the courthouse in Glynn County. “To tell the truth, I never saw this day back in 2020. I never thought this day would come. But God is good."

Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan were convicted of murder in the February 2020 death of the 25-year-old Black man, who was chased and fatally shot while running through their coastal Georgia neighborhood in an attack that became part of the larger national reckoning on racial injustice.

Cooper-Jones' attorney, Lee Merritt, hailed his client's unflinching fight for justice.

“Eighteen months ago when she learned about the murder of her son, they told her that she would just have to deal with it alone," Merritt said. "They told her that there would be no arrest, that there would be no accountability, that there would be no justice. And she made her son a promise before she laid him in the ground, that his mom would fight for justice for him.”

Of the son she called Quez, Cooper-Jones said, “He will now rest in peace.”

When Travis McMichael was pronounced guilty of murder, Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery Sr., let out a “gut-wrenching grunt," his attorney Ben Crump said.

“He could not contain it any further because think about how long he and Wanda have been enduring all the innuendo, all the allegations, all the character assassinations," Crump said.

Arbery's parents fought for him and were “an example of how to deal with tragedy and grief," Crump said, reminding the crowd that even as they celebrated the verdict, Arbery's parents remain devastated by his death.

“Even though this is not a celebration, it is a reflection to acknowledge that the spirit of Ahmaud defeated the lynch mob,” Crump said.

Marcus Arbery thanked God, his family and the family's supporters and said he doesn't want to see any other father have to live through what he lived through. But as he reflected on the verdict, he said, “Today is a good day.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton spent some time sitting with Arbery's parents in the courtroom. After a protest over his presence from Bryan's attorney, he called Black pastors to Brunswick last week for a rally outside the courthouse last week.

After the verdict, he noted that “there will be an empty chair at Wanda's table” Thursday.

"Ahmaud will not be at Thanksgiving tomorrow, but she can look at that chair and say to Ahmaud, ‘I fought a good fight,’” Sharpton said, applauding both parents' fight for their son. “Even though it will be a sober and solemn Thanksgiving, you can thank God, who didn’t let your boy down.”

Caption
Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, his hugged by his attorney Benjamin Crump after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, his hugged by his attorney Benjamin Crump after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga.  Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)
Caption
Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, his hugged by his attorney Benjamin Crump after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Caption
Tears streak down the cheek of Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice.(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Tears streak down the cheek of Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga.  Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice.(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)
Caption
Tears streak down the cheek of Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice.(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Caption
Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center right, and Rev. Al Sharpton hold hands after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. Greg McMichael and his son, Travis and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center right, and Rev. Al Sharpton hold hands after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. Greg McMichael and his son, Travis  and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)
Caption
Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center right, and Rev. Al Sharpton hold hands after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. Greg McMichael and his son, Travis and a neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting that became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Caption
Tears streak down the cheek of Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Tears streak down the cheek of Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)
Caption
Tears streak down the cheek of Ahmaud Arbery's mother Wanda Cooper-Jones after the jury convicted Travis McMichael in the Glynn County Courthouse, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Caption
Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, is removed from the courtroom after Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley read the jury's verdict the trial of Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga. The three defendants were convicted found guilty Wednesday in the death of Ahmaud Arbery(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, is removed from the courtroom after Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley read the jury's verdict the trial of Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga. The three defendants were convicted found guilty Wednesday in the death of Ahmaud Arbery(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)
Caption
Ahmaud Arbery's father Marcus Arbery, center, is removed from the courtroom after Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley read the jury's verdict the trial of Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga. The three defendants were convicted found guilty Wednesday in the death of Ahmaud Arbery(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, Pool)

Credit: Stephen B. Morton

Credit: Stephen B. Morton